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. Brooches as this fine example fall within the ‘Composite Plate’ type, a broad category attesting the many and imaginative forms of Romano-British brooches.
Romano-British Enamelled Bronze Plate Brooch with Bird-Head Finials
A rare Romano-British bronze plate brooch featuring a crescentic shape and a recessed body, filled with bright blue enamel. The brooch is further embellished with two birds’ heads, possibly doves, seen in profile at each terminal. The animal features are crudely executed, comprising rounded heads, pointed beaks and large eyes, rendered with two carved circles. To the reverse, the original pin is intact and sits above the catch plate, now fixed in position.
This item was found in Cambs in the 1980s.
Provenance: From a Surrey gentleman's collection (D.G.), purchased on the London Art market from ADA member, 1990s - onwards.
Condition: Fine condition. The pin is fixed; excellent retention of the original enamel.