Fibulae were mainly produced in the Roman provinces of Britain and Gaul. They were used across the Roman Empire to fasten clothes, particularly military dress such as saga and paludamenta. Their display, however, was as much decorative as their function was practical. Fibulae came in all sorts of shapes, here seen zoomorphically, and could therefore be used as status symbols or identifiers of certain tribes or professions.
Romano-Celtic Bronze Zoomorphic Fibula
A zoomorphic Romano-Celtic bronze hinge-pin fibula in the shape of a snake or dragon. The animal is shown in profile, its head facing to the right, its tail curving up and around to the left in a serpentine S-shape. Remnants of enamel still remain, including vivid blue and red. Its form is highly stylised and very unique. The reverse shows the remains of the hinge and catch plate. The pin is now missing.
Provenance: Ex Cambridge collection, acquired 1990s.
Condition: Very fine condition, with surface patination and missing pin.