Phrygian fibula from the Hattatt collection

Object number
Object: Phrygian fibula from the Hattatt collection

Material: Bronze.

Period: C. 8th to 7th cent. BC.
Iron Age.

Description:    Richly decorated Phrygian fibula with a semi-circular bow. The bow is octagonal in section, with three barrel-shaped decorations, each divided into segments. The two-coil spring with the pin is attached to the fibula's head. The foot end consists of a T-shaped catch plate that is bent at the end to hold the pin.

Background: The Phrygians were an Iron Age people who settled in central Anatolia, in the heart of present-day Turkey, after the great upheavals at the end of the Bronze Age. At the time this fibula was made, their empire was at its height. Kings ruled large parts of Asia Minor from the heartland of Phrygia. Among them was the legendary King Midas, who was a historical person in the late 8th century BC. The Phrygian brooches are characteristic for the artistic bronze craftsmanship of this people. They are the perfect tangible object for illustration in private and public collections.

Dimensions: 7.7cm long. 6.3cm high.

Condition: Excellent condition. Completely preserved body, covered with a beautiful green-brown patina. Collection inscription in white "1887".

Provenance: Acquired by us on the British art market in 2021. Previously in a Dutch private collection. Acquired at Bonhams London, "Antiquities" auction of 30 November 2016, lot 44. Consigned from a European private collection. Previously in the British private collection of Richard Hattatt. Acquired between 1970 and 1982. In the 1980ies and probably until the 1990ies this fibula was on loan to the Ashmolean Museum of the University of Oxford. Hattatt states Turkey as passed along find spot in his "Visual Catalogue".

About Richard Hattatt:
After retiring from the family business, Richard Hattatt devoted himself to collecting and studying antiquities. After a few years, focusing on the area of fibulae, one of the most important collections of ancient brooches from the region north of the Mediterranean emerged. In the years 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1989, four books were the fruit of a tireless analysis and work on the specimen in his collection. Those books are now regarded as standard works in the field of Iron Age and Roman brooches.
When Richard Hattatt died in 1992, parts of his collection were already housed in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford) and the Wiltshire Museum (Devizes). Other fibulae in the collection went to auction houses and into private collections. However, the enormous gain in knowledge through the systematic collecting activity, the drawings and the information consolidated by Hattatt has been preserved for posterity in his books.
It is with the appropriate pride that we can offer you this fibula from Hattatt's collection and his books.

Publications: This fibula is published in a standard work for ancient brooches, Richard Hattatt, Ancient Romano-British Brooches (1982), pp. 196f, fig. 85, no. 207. Note that the numbering in the publication differs from the numbering in the collection for this piece.
The fibula is also published in the reference catalogue Richard Hattatt, A Visual Catalogue of Richard Hattatt's Ancient Brooches (1989), p. 282, fig. 141, no. 207.

Literature: As an alternative to the works of Hattatt we can recommend the following book as an introduction and for referencing:
R. Heynowski, Bestimmungsbuch Archäologie 1, Fibeln (2012).

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