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 ‘Openwork Non-enamelled’ type. Dating between AD 150 -225, these Roman-period brooches are mainly characterised by Celtic traditional motifs in different levels of elaboration. They appear to have been developed in the central European provinces of the Empire, specifically around Germany and Pannonia, with only a few examples recovered in Britain or Gaul.