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Identification and Creation
Object Number
Work Type
fibula, pin
5th-4th century BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe
Classical period to Hellenistic
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Copper alloy
Cast and hammered
6.8 x 3.1 x 1.3 cm (2 11/16 x 1 1/4 x 1/2 in.)
Technical Details

Technical Observations: The patina is light to dark green. There are bubble-like malachite formations on the remaining portion of the catchplate. There is a thin layer of burial accretions overall. The fibula is very corroded; the cross-section at the pin break shows a layer of malachite over a thicker layer of cuprite, with very little unmineralized metal left. The pin and the plate portion of the catchplate have broken off and are both missing.

Julie Wolfe

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 fragmentary fibula is missing its pin. Two to three coils of the spring are present. The bow expands from the spring into a wide, flat, lozenge-shape with bands of decoration on the edges (possibly beaded) and is slightly concave on the exterior. The bow narrows as it approaches the foot. The foot is flat, widening sharply into a rectangle after the end of the bow, and it has some additional molded decoration on the edges. A slight edge on the underside of the foot indicates where the catchplate had been. The foot expands into a cube-sphere-knob terminal (1).


1. It is difficult to attribute this fibula to a type, but it is perhaps comparable to 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, no. 474, pl. 28.

Lisa M. Anderson

Publication History

Julie Wolfe, "Analysis of Iron Age Bronze Fibulae from Southern Italy in the Collection of the Harvard University Art Museums" (thesis (certificate in conservation), Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, June 1998), Unpublished,

Subjects and Contexts

Ancient Bronzes

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