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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Fibula with Floral Foot
Work Type
fibula, pin
late 5th-mid 4th century BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe
Classical period
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Copper alloy
Cast and hammered
1.9 x 0.8 x 3.7 cm (3/4 x 5/16 x 1 7/16 in.)
Technical Details

Technical Observations: The patina is green with areas of black. Brown burial accretions are present. The fibula is stable, although it is mineralized and fragile. The black areas are probably sulfides from a modern storage environment.

The heavier, curved bow section and the pomegranate finial at the tip were probably cast using a direct lost-wax process. From this casting, the spring, pin, and catchplate were cold worked into their finished shapes. On the projecting stem of the pomegranate is a cross made up of two grooves, probably cut abrasively. There is no other decoration of the surface.

Henry Lie (submitted 2012)


Recorded Ownership History
The Alice Corinne McDaniel Collection, Department of the Classics, Harvard University (before 1970-2012), transfer; to the Harvard Art Museums, 2012.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Transfer from the Alice Corinne McDaniel Collection, Department of the Classics, Harvard University
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
This intact one-piece fibula has a floral foot. The spring has three coils, with the pin tapering to a point. The undecorated leech bow is pointed on the exterior. The large knob at the foot of the catchplate resembles a poppy head.

1. Compare A. Dionisio, “Le fibule tra il V e il I secolo A.C.,” in Il Museo delle Antichità Etrusche e Italiche 3: I bronzi della collezione Gorga, ed. M. G. Benedettini (Rome, 2012) 156-91, esp. 165, nos. 474-76, pl. 28.

Lisa M. Anderson

Publication History

  • John Crawford, Sidney Goldstein, George M. A. Hanfmann, John Kroll, Judith Lerner, Miranda Marvin, Charlotte Moore, and Duane Roller, Objects of Ancient Daily Life. A Catalogue of the Alice Corinne McDaniel Collection Belonging to the Department of the Classics, Harvard University, ed. Jane Waldbaum, Department of the Classics (unpublished manuscript, 1970), M62, p. 171 [J. S. Crawford]

Subjects and Contexts

  • Ancient Bronzes

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at