Ancient Roman Bronze Openwork Brooch


A fine Ancient Roman openwork brooch cast from bronze. Its delicate, almost floral shape is formed from smooth arcs of bronze repeated around a central circular point. Each arc ends with a point that projects from the edge of the motif. The design is shallowly moulded frontally, and features a hinged pin mechanism with a thin horizontal catch plate, now fixed in place.

Although this brooch bears some similarity to Celtic Wheel-shaped brooches, the gently undulating edges and curved ‘spokes’ position this within the category of openwork non-enamelled brooches. This type continued to be produced well into the Roman period in the 3rd century AD.

Date: Circa 2nd-3rd century AD
Condition: Good condition. Some patination and very minor scratches to the surface, with earthly encrustations on the reverse.


SKU: BL-10 Category: Tag:

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.

Many Roman openwork non-enamelled brooches feature traditional Celtic motifs, adapted and made more or less elaborate to suit Roman tastes. This kind of brooch was mostly produced in the central European Roman provinces, such as Germany and Pannonia (a province encompassing regions of modern-day Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina). The thin horizontal catch plate and hinged pin mechanism seen here is typical of this form.

Weight 8.0 g
Dimensions L 3.3 x W 3.3 x H 1.6 cm



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