Romano-British Bronze Equal-Ended Plate Brooch


A Romano-British equal-ended plate brooch cast from bronze, featuring an elongated ovate shape with five small knobs protruding outwards along each side. The brooch’s body is partly recessed and filled with red enamel around the symmetrical, phalli-shaped bronze islands. The original pin is intact and sits in the catch plate, now fixed in position. 

This item was found in Lincolnshire in the 1980s.

Date: Circa 3rd century AD
Provenance: From a Surrey gentleman's collection (D.G.), purchased on the London Art market from ADA member, 1990s - onwards.
Condition: Fine condition. Excellent retention of the original enamel; the original pin is now fixed.


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 ‘Plate’ type, a broad category attesting the many and imaginative forms of Romano-British brooches. This particular piece can be classified under the sub-category of ‘Equal-ended’ Plate brooches, which are characterised by symmetrical designs.

Weight 5.7 g
Dimensions L 3.8 x W 0.7 cm