Romano-British Bronze Trumpet-headed Brooch


A finely cast rare Iron Age Roman bronze trumpet-headed brooch with fine silver applied decoration.  It features a slightly arched bow with an iconic trumpet head that gradually tapers into a flattened leg leading to an upturned knob. Horizontal decoration intersperses the short leg, with additional beaded granulation mounted in silver. Silver decoration also appears around the trumpet head and the knob terminal. The well-preserved, original pin extends from a wide coil spring and sits in a square pin plate.

This brooch was found in North Lincolnshire.

Date: Circa 1st-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: Very fine condition, with intact bow and pin.

In stock

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 7.2 g
Dimensions L 2.9 x W 2.1 x H 1.2 cm