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A small ornament, usually set with gemstones, made to be worn with similar pieces attached to a woman's dress. Some were worn as a small group made en suite but often they were made in large numbers so as to be sewn on a scattered overall decoration, sometimes accompanied by one larger and more ornate piece.
They were popular in England and on the Continent in the 16th/17th centuries, but such objects were also made of pre-Columbian jewelry in the form of discs made of Tumbaga or gold.
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson