Brooches (fibulae in Latin) were used particularly in the western Roman Empire for fastening garments of clothing such as cloaks. This example is of the ‘Kräftig Profilierte’ type, which was descended from La Tene fibulae. This type of brooch was native to the Roman province of Pannonia, in the upper Danube and the Austrian Alps, but some examples travelled to military areas of Roman Britain with the 9th Legion of the Roman army who were recruited in Pannonia. While the utility of all fibulae was based on the safety-pin principle, these high profile examples became highly stylized in design, with those showing trumpet or anchor shaped heads becoming a paradigmatic shape. This example is truly unique in the shape of its body and its ornamental chains with leaf-shaped pendants, perhaps indicative of the high rank of its original owner.
Roman Silver Kräftig Profilierte Type Brooch with Ornamental Pendants
An extremely well-preserved Roman silver ‘Kräftig Profilierte’ (high profile) brooch. The body of the brooch, when viewed from above, shows a globular head, resembling a mace head with four small spherical protruding knobs. The bottom half of the body tapers into a protruding poppy head finial, displaying the same spherical knob protrusion as those found on the head. The spring which holds the pin is made of nine tight coils, and the pin rests in its original catch-plate. Two piercings, one through the catch-plate and another under the brooch’s head, each have a hoop threaded through them. Each hoop holds two square-shaped chains, and from each chain is suspended a stylised leaf-shaped flat pendant with an exaggerated and spherical base.
Condition: Very fine condition with slight tarnishing and a few very minor surface scratches.