Large early Etruscan boat-shaped fibula

Object number
Object: Large early Etruscan boat-shaped fibula

Material: Bronze.

Period: 8th to 6th century BC.
Iron Age.

Description:    Large fibula with a curved sheet metal arch that is reminiscent of a boat's hull. There is a bent catch plate on the foot. The head merges into the pin via a double spiral spring. The fibula is dominated by decorative grooves in longitudinal direction on the bow, as well as by six decorative spherical knobs on the sides.

Background: The fibulae with the boat shaped bow are also referred to as Navicella fibula. They come in numerous variations. The piece offered here stands out due to its particularly rich and beautiful decorations. The distribution area of the brooch type was in the regions around the Alps in Central and Southern Europe. The example presented here has the strongest parallels to the early Etruscan fibulae from Italy.

Dimensions: 11,6cm length, 5,8cm width.

Condition: Very good condition. The body is superbly preserved and beautifully patinated. Even the original spring and pin are largely preserved, only the front part of the pin is missing. The catch plate has some breaks and missing parts, but has essentially been preserved. Due to its size, quality and condition, it is a showpiece today as it was back then.

Provenance: Acquired by us on the Swiss art market in 2022. Previously in the Swiss private collection Marc Odermatt. Acquired in 1988 from Nefer Gallery in Zurich, Switzerland. A copy of the gallery's expertise is available. Based on the style the brooch is probably a find from Italy.

References: A very similar early Etruscan piece from Italy is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, acc. no. 20.260.
Cf. R. Heynowski, Bestimmungsbuch Archäologie 1, Fibeln (2012), p. 57, no. 3.5.
Cf. British Museum, museum no. 1814,0704.798.

Authenticity: We unconditionally guarantee the authenticity of every artefact, all items are subject to our lifetime return policy on authenticity.