Roman Openwork Bronze Brooch


A cast Ancient Roman bronze openwork brooch formed from a flat perforated plate. The frontal plate consists of a central, rounded point, from which eight undulating spokes emerge, joininh the thickened rim. Sixteen small lugs decorate the rim, creating a spoked-wheel effect.  On the reverse, the original hinged mechanism remains intact, however, the pin retains no mobility and the catchplate is chipped.

Date: Circa AD 150-225
Condition: Very fine condition, minor red patination on the surface, slightly chipped catchplate.


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.

Brooches such as this  fall within the ‘openwork non-enamelled’ type, although this example is also influenced by the Celtic wheel fibulae. Dating between AD 150 -225, these Roman-period brooches are mainly characterised by Celtic traditional motifs with varying levels of elaboration. They appear to have been developed in the central European provinces of the Empire, specifically around Germany and Pannonia, with only a few examples recovered in Britain or Gaul.

Weight 12.7 g
Dimensions L 3.9 x W 3.9 x H 1.2 cm




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