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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Wire Fibula with Ram's Head Terminals
Other Titles
Former Title: Fibula, East Hellenistic in Style
Work Type
fibula, pin
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
Alloy: Brass
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

  • Ancient Bronzes

Verification Level

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