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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

Leaded bronze
Cast and hammered
4.8 x 2.1 cm (1 7/8 x 13/16 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: ICP-MS/AAA data from sample, Leaded Bronze:
Cu, 81.69; Sn, 8.85; Pb, 8.6; Zn, 0.283; Fe, 0.12; Ni, 0.09; Ag, 0.05; Sb, 0.17; As, 0.14; Bi, less than 0.025; Co, less than 0.01; Au, less than 0.01; Cd, less than 0.001
J. Riederer

Technical Observations: These fibulae (1985.134, 1985.135, 1985.136.A, 1985.143, 1985.144, and 1985.145) are generally intact, and the patinas range from green to black.

Each fibula was made in three sections. First, a rod, with one rounded end and the other squarish or hammered flat, was used for the crossbar. Then a wire was coiled around the crossbar, starting in the middle and 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 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.

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 bow has a relatively low curve. A raised horizontal band decorates the center of the bow; the bow is flatter and wider between the head and the band, and it is narrower and thicker between the band and the foot. A molded ridge traverses the spine. A round, pointed knob with a collar decorates the foot. The hammered catchplate 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; R. Hattatt, Brooches of Antiquity: A Third Selection of Brooches from the Author’s Collection (Oxford, 1987) 32-35, nos. 758-61, fig. 13; S. Schmid, Die römischen Fibeln aus Wien (Vienna, 2010) no. 44; and D. Mackreth, Brooches in late Iron Age and Roman Britain (Oxford, 2011) 152, nos. 6254 and 6290, pl. 103.

Lisa M. Anderson

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