Romano-British Bronze Enamelled Rooster Brooch


A finely cast Romano-British bronze brooch in the shape of a sitting rooster, decorated with enamelling. The brooch features a hollowed, curved body and a small head, flattened head with a prominent raised comb. Its back is covered with a series of cells filled with vibrant orange enamel. The roosters eye consists of a moulded circle and there is a small cell of enamel that constitutes the birds mouth. The brooch’s pin is now missing to the underneath.

Date: Circa 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. East Nottinghamshire find.
Condition: Fine condition, covered with green patination. Good traces of orange enamel remaining on the back. Pin 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. The distribution of archaeological finds suggests that the major production centres for such ornamentation were Britain and Gaul.

Romano-British zoomorphic brooches were immensely popular and numerous examples of rooster types with their vibrant enamel decoration have been discovered. This is a particularly colourful example with large cells of enamel still visible and untarnished.

Weight 9.7 g
Dimensions L 4.2 x W 2 x H 2 cm



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