- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
- Wire Fibula with Ram's Head Terminals
- Other Titles
- Former Title: Fibula, East Hellenistic in Style
- Work Type
- pin, fibula
- Creation Place: Unidentified Region
- Unidentified culture
- Persistent Link
- Physical Descriptions
- Brass, silvered with traces of gilding
- 4.3 x 4.2 cm (1 11/16 x 1 5/8 in.)
- Technical Details
Chemical Composition: XRF data from Tracer
Alloying Elements: copper, zinc
Other Elements: lead, iron
Comments: Silvering and traces of gilding were detected in some areas on this piece.
K. Eremin, January 2014
Technical Observations: The object appears to be modern. No corrosion is present.
Henry Lie (submitted 2012)
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Mrs. Eric Schroeder in honor of Mr. Forbes's Thirtieth Anniversary as Director of the Museum
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Published Catalogue Text: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
The C-shaped fibula has rams’ head terminals and is intact except for the pin, which is missing. On the back, a thin wire spiral serves as the catchplate; on the other arm are the remains of a hinge and spring. The body of the fibula consists of twisted wires alternating between wider wires of a lighter color and thinner, darker wires that are already twisted. The finials are molded collars with horizontal stripes, which sit below the rams’ heads with curving horns. The ears, eyes, nose, and mouth are indicated, as is perhaps some wool on the top of the head and underside of the chin.
This fibula is not an ancient type. It seems to mimic ancient bracelets with zoomorphic terminals known from the Near East, including Cyprus (1) and Achaemenid Persia, but those types of bracelets were not worn as fibulae.
1. Compare J. L. Myres and M. Ohnefalsch-Richter, A Catalogue of the Cyprus Museum (Oxford, 1899) 130, no. 4253, pl. 7, a “hollow gold-plated bronze” bracelet with rams’ head terminals and a twisted hoop from Kourion. Similar terminals with a solid hoop can be seen on a pair of gold-plated bracelets, also from Kourion, currently in the British Museum, inv. nos. 1896,0201.141-.142. Compare also J. Stettgast, Von Troja bis Amarna: The Norbert Schimmel Collection, New York, exh. cat., Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg (Mainz, 1978) no. 95, a silver arm band with two rams’ head terminals on a coiled bracelet body.
Lisa M. Anderson
- Subjects and Contexts
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