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Identification and Creation

Object Number
"Kraftig profilierte" Fibula
Work Type
fibula, pin
1st-early 2nd century CE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World
Roman Imperial period
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Cast and hammered
5.3 x 2.5 cm (2 1/16 x 1 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: ICP-MS/AAA data from sample, Brass:
Cu, 83.45; Sn, less than 0.25; Pb, 0.12; Zn, 15.89; Fe, 0.4; Ni, 0.02; Ag, 0.05; Sb, 0.07; As, less than 0.10; Bi, less than 0.025; Co, less than 0.01; Au, less than 0.01; Cd, less than 0.001

J. Riederer

Technical Observations: The patina is green and brown with a few spots of cuprite. One end of the crossbar is missing, and there is a break in the coil.

This fibula was manufactured in a way similar to 1985.145, although in this case the wire that forms the spring and pin is part of the cast body (1). A rod, with one end rounded and the other hammered flat, was used for the crossbar. A wire, in this case integral with the body, was hammered and coiled around the crossbar, coiling to one end, at which point it was bent across the top of the fibula to the other end of the crossbar. This wire coiled back to the middle of the crossbar and then extended out to become the pin. Finally, the top of the cast bow was hammered over the crossbar, which secured the wire that extends across the top of the fibula as well as the inner end of the coiled wire. The other end of the bow was hammered out to form the catchplate.


1. This method of manufacture is illustrated in M. Pernot, J. Dubos, and J. P. Guillaumet, “Technologies de fibules du Mont-Beuvray,” in Techniques antiques du bronze: Faire un vase, faire un casque, faire une fibule, Centre de recherches sur le techniques gréco-romaines 12 (Dijon, 1988) 59-91, esp. 84.

Carol Snow (submitted 2002)

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Jerry Nagler
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 small fibula was made in three pieces (1). The headplate is rectangular. The bow has a relatively low curve. A raised, rounded bead with a thin ridge on each side decorates the circumference of the bow. The bow is flatter and wider between the head and the bead, and it is narrower and more cylindrical between the bead and the foot. A molded ridge traverses the spine of the bow. A low, round knob with a collar decorates the foot. The hammered catchplate has two holes through it and is curved at the bottom to form the catch for the pin (2).


1. See the “Technical Observations” field for a description of the three pieces and the coil spring.

2. Compare E. Ettlinger, Die römischen Fibeln in der Schweiz (Bern, 1973) 61-63 (type 13), pls. 5.4-6 and18.1-19; and R. Hattatt, Brooches of Antiquity: A Third Selection of Brooches from the Author’s Collection (Oxford, 1987) 32-35, nos. 758-61, fig. 13.

Lisa M. Anderson

Subjects and Contexts

  • Ancient Bronzes

Verification Level

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