Ancient Roman Bronze P-Shaped Brooch


A fine Ancient Roman P-shaped brooch cast from bronze. The single bow curves smoothly towards the returned foot, where the pin rests in a deep groove, now fixed in place. A protruding knob on the head marks the point where the box connects to the head-piece. The spring, which leads to the pin, is wrapped around the head-piece in a tight spiral. The bow is incised with a delicate geometric pattern of circles arranged in triads around a central line, horizontal grooves across the body and a row of circles underneath.

Date: Circa 2nd-3rd century AD
Condition: Good condition. Some green patination on the surface, and a small crack by catch-plate.


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.

P-shaped brooches were highly popular among Roman soldiers, especially those stationed in the upper Rhine and upper Danube areas. Certain types also found their way across to Britain, including those with a single bow and open spring, such as this one.

Weight 25.5 g
Dimensions L 6.3 x W 3.4 x H 2.9 cm



Reference: For a similar item,The Metropolitan Museum, item 1993.3.4

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