A fine ancient Romano-British cast bronze flat brooch modelled in the shape of a rabbit. The animal is naturalistically rendered in a recumbent pose, with an arched back and bent legs tucked under its body. There is tinned detailing to the body through the use of niello decoration. There is an original hinged pin to the reverse with the remains of a pin catch.
Date: Circa 1st-2nd Century AD Provenance: From a Surrey gentleman's collection (DG), purchased on the London Art Market from an ADA member, formed 1990's onward. European example. Condition: Fine condition. Tip of the pin catch broken off.
Fibulae or brooches were originally used in Ancient Greece and in the Roman Empire for fastening garments, such as cloaks or togae. The fibula designs developed into a variety of shapes, but all were based on the safety-pin principle. Brooches modelled in the shape of animals have been vastly recovered across all the Roman Empire, including Roman Britain. This particular type of brooch is typical of brooches originating in France and date earlier than their enamelled counterparts. The flattened form shows their relation to the flat, tinned plate brooches, originating in the mid-1st century AD. Examples exist mostly from the continent, any found in Britain would have been imports as the rabbit was not introduced to Britain until the Norman period.
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