Romano-British Bronze Trumpet-headed Brooch with Silver Decoration


A finely cast extremely rare bronze brooch with silver decoration, featuring an arched bow with a trumpet head and decorative silver granulation. The trumpet head features a granulated silver border followed by a concentric silver circle to the centre. Green enamel would have filled the space, which is now lacking. The lower-section of the bow is further decorated with a set of six neatly-arranged silver clusters, possibly rosettes, whilst three rows of granules decorate the flattened top. This example is relatively rare in that it features a cup foot rather than a looped foot. A loop is visible to the trumpet head and the original pin, connected through a hinge, is free moving and is no longer in reach of the pin catch. 

This brooch was found in North Lincolnshire.

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.
Condition: Fine condition, green enamel is still visible to the trumpet head.


SKU: HL-269 Category: Tags: ,

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 fashion of wearing brooches travelled from Ancient Roman to Britain, having applied a great aesthetical influence to the Iron Age British craftman. However, bronze brooches, featuring an iconic trumpet head, are believed to have been an indigenous, creative invention.   

Trumpet Brooches were amongst the most common of brooches developed in Britain during the Roman occupation. Trumpet-headed brooches, differing from the former slightly in style, were only varyingly less popular. The latter were formed into a more simplified T-shape and were thus cheaper to produce and purchase. Trumpet-headed brooches seemed to be more locally produced whilst the more elaborate Trumpet brooches were reserved for the wide-spread elite.

To learn more on the varying metalwork techniques, visit our relevant blog: Decorative Metalwork Techniques.

Weight 10.8 g
Dimensions L 3.9 x W 1.2 x H 1.5 cm





You may also like…