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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Bow Fibula
Work Type
fibula, pin
7th-6th century BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe
Orientalizing period
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Copper alloy
Cast and hammered
2.6 x 0.7 x 7.3 cm (1 x 1/4 x 2 7/8 in.)
Technical Details

Technical Observations: The patina is light green with areas of black. The condition is stable, although the fibula is mineralized and fragile.

The heavier curved bow section and the thicker knob at the terminal were probably cast using a direct lost-wax process. From this casting, the spring, pin, and catchplate were cold worked to their finished shapes. No finer decorations are present.

Henry Lie (submitted 2012)

Inscriptions and Marks
  • label: Small tan label "Fi. 7"


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
The bow of this one-piece, triple-coiled fibula has a high semicircular arch. The undecorated bow is circular in section and is thinner near the spring and long catchplate (1). The pin is intact. The catchplate is a simple U-shaped catch that tapers toward the terminal knob, which is spherical with a pointed ridge around the circumference.


1. Compare H. Donder, Die Fibeln, Katalog der Sammlung antiker Kleinkunst des Archäologischen Instituts der Universität Heidelberg 3.2 (Mainz, 1994) 35 and 39-40, no. 20, pl. 4; and B. Giuliani, “Le fibule orientalizzanti e archaiche: Alcune forme della koinè adriatica,” in Il Museo delle Antichità Etrusche e Italiche 3: I bronzi della collezione Gorga, ed. M. G. Benedettini (Rome, 2012) 127-55, esp. 140, no. 428, pl. 24.

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), M61, p. 170-71 [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