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. Most pins were produced from bronze or iron however, precious metals such as gold have been used, owned by those of a higher status to demonstrate their wealth and power. The brooch itself can take many different forms and decorations. Brooches as this fine example fall within the sub-category of ‘Equal-armed’ brooches, which are characterised by symmetrical designs.
Equal Armed Anglo Saxon Brooch
An Anglo Saxon, equal armed brooch cast from bronze. This specific example has three ribs across the central hump, with two horizontal grooves emerging out of the centre on each side. There is a teardrop shape on each terminal, demarcated by two short diagonal indentations. In tact still are both the pin hinge and small catch plate on the brooch’s underside, however the pin is missing. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘caterpillar’ brooch – a name which refers to the brooch’s shape, which is said to be somewhat reminiscent of a caterpillar arching its body. Beautiful green patination covers the brooch.
Provenance: From a Surrey gentleman's collection (DG), purchased on the London Art Market from an ADA member, formed 1990's onward.
Condition: Fine condition. The pin is missing, although the catch plate and pin hinge still remain.