Ancient Roman Bronze Axe Brooch

$93.20

An Ancient Roman cast bronze skeuomorphic brooch in the shape of a double axe-head. Matching rounded axe blades extend from either side of the central pole, creating a near-symmetric form. Both blades feature a design of concentric circles in sunk relief. The central pole is enlivened by two raised rows of rectangles along its length with flared corners at both ends. The back features a thin horizontal catch-plate and a node where a hinged pin (now missing) would have been attached.

The form of this brooch is an uncommon one – most axe brooches also depict the straight shaft used to wield the weapon.

Date: Circa 150-200 AD
Condition: Good condition. Some patination across the surface, pin missing.

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SKU: BL-11 Category: Tags: ,

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. Roman conquests spread the use of the fibula, which became the basis for more complicated brooches. Fibulae are the most common artefact-type in burials and settlements throughout much of the continental Europe.

Model axes are one of the most common votive objects found in archaeological sites, suggesting that they held a religious or superstitious meaning which would also have applied to axe shape brooches. Axe brooches are evidenced across the Roman empire, despite being an uncommon type of brooch. Axe brooches were typically cast in plain bronze or with engraved or enamelled decoration.

Weight 11.2 g
Dimensions L 3.6 x W 3.5 x H 1.0 cm
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