Roman silver fibula
Roman Imperial period.
1st to 3rd cent. AD.
Roman fibula with a curved bow, head, middle and foot decorated by a lentil shaped knob. The pin is attached to the crossbar under the head via a spiral construction.
Note the remains of gold inside of the catch plate and in a few other places. They are remains of the original gold plating which must have covered the whole fibula but is now worn off. The fibula type is probably from the Danubian provinces in the east of the Roman Empire.
Fibulae were more than just brooches or pins for fastening garments. They were jewellery and status symbol and were worn prominently near the shoulder. This explains the abundance of fashionable shapes and styles that can be observed with surviving ancient pieces. They vary with region, era and social background of the wearer. Modern archaeology uses that distinctiveness to quickly attribute an archaeological find whenever a fibula is part of it.
35mm length. 28mm width.
Perfect condition. Body of the fibula fully intact including decorations. Original pin is preserved.
Acquired by us in 2020 on the German art market. Previously in the Austrian private collection M. S., exported from Austria to Germany in 2019 with approval from the Austrian Federal Monuments Office. Acquired into the collection in the 1970ies.
Cf. O. Almgren, Studien über Nordeuropäische Fibelformen der ersten nachchristlichen Jahrhunderte mit Berücksichtigung der provinzialrömischen und russischen Formen (Dissertation, 1897), plate IV, no. 77.
Similar R. Heynowskis, Fibeln - erkennen, bestimmen, beschreiben, p. 23 and p. 83, no. 3.18.1.
A superb and compact overview on the subject of ancient fibulae is given by R. Heynowski in his book "Fibeln - erkennen, bestimmen, beschreiben" (Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2012, German language).
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