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Large Roman Gilt Bronze Brooch 1st Century BC – 1st Century AD

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Seller: clioantiquities (161) 100%, Location: Wilmington, North Carolina, Ships to: US & many other countries, Item: 132011181251 Roman Gilt Bronze Brooch CULTURE / REGION OF ORIGIN: Roman Empire (western European provinces) DATE: Late 1st Century BC – First Half of the 1st Century AD. DIMENSIONS: 5.5 cm long (2.2 inches), max width 2.5 cm (1 in.) DESCRIPTION: A large example of a Roman bronze fibula of the “Kraftig-profilierte” type. The long bow has a stepped circular boss at mid-point. The foot terminates in a similar stepped projection. The head is of broad, triangular form. There are two circular openings in the catch plate. The heavy spring and pin are intact, with some bare metal surface showing. The bow and axis bar are both of bronze, with considerable remains of gilding. There is purple patination covering unexposed gilding, with traces of green patination where gilding has worn away. Heavy black encrustation on parts of the spring and pin, possibly made from a different alloy (brass?). The lower curvature of the catch plate is broken away; otherwise, intact. An impressive example of the type. PROVENANCE: Ex California private collection until April, 2003. Acquired on the European art market in the 1990s. REFERENCES: Justine Bayley & Sarnia Butcher, Roman Brooches in Britain: A Technological and Typological Study Based on the Richborough Collection, The Society of Antiquaries of London, 2004, Cat 39 for a very similar example from Britain, and page 148 for a discussion of the type, which is originally Pannonian and probably spread with the Roman army. SPECIAL NOTES: The most common type of personal dress accessory from the Roman world is the fibula (or brooch). Before buttons came into widespread use, fibulae / brooches were an essential item for fastening 2 pieces of clothing together. Most ancient brooches were made from bronze, sometimes with coatings of tin, silver or even gold (such as this example), and some had decorative additions in enamel or black silver sulfide. Because they are fairly sturdy they survive in relatively large numbers. Many catalogs of the different types of ancient fibula have been made but the number of types and regional variations is endless. This example is from western Europe and is quite an early type. Material: Bronze

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