In the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome, fibulae (or brooches) were originally used for fastening garments. They came in a variety of shapes, but all were based on the safety pin principle. The Greek Bow brooch developed from the wide-spread European one-piece arched bow type originating in the Late Bronze Age, about 1200 BC. The catch-plate was gradually broadened and deepened until it became the characteristic square plate which was as deep as the brooch. The surface was now large enough to be decorated, mainly by incision, of different imagery, including animals such as birds and fish, people, and sometimes mythological subjects.
Ancient Greek Bronze Bow Brooch
A fine Ancient Greek brooch, cast in bronze. The item features a highly arched bow that ends in a coiled spring that formerly had a pin attached to it. The rectangular foot is decorated around the edges with a zig-zag pattern. This example belongs to the Greek Bow type of brooches characterised by a wider catch-plate decorated with incised motifs.
Provenance: Ex P.A. Hertfordshire collection acquired in 1990s
Condition: Fine condition, with patination on surface. The pin is now missing