Small brooches like this one, often in stylised animal forms, were worn by both Roman soldiers and subjects across the empire. They served both a decorative and practical function, being used to fasten articles of clothing, particularly cloaks. Archaeological evidence suggests that the centres of Roman brooch production were in the provinces of Britannia and Gaul.
Roman Silver Dog Brooch
A very fine Roman silver brooch in the form of a hunting dog. The piece was finely cast and remains in excellent condition apart from a single pin lug and the remains of a pin on the reverse. The dog is rendered in a stylised manner typical of later Roman and Romano-British animal brooches, but with detailed modelling that highlights naturalistic musculature around the legs. Shown in side profile, the animal crouches on its back haunches with slender front legs outstretched, as though ready to spring forward, long ears pointed backward and alert. An enlarged, round eye and long snout comprise the animal’s head. At the base of the pin, a long thin horizontal piece suggests the ground upon which the dog sits. Two metal attachments glued to the base are modern additions, likely used to facilitate the object’s display.
Provenance: From the late Alison Barker Collection, a retired London barrister, formed early 1960s-1990s.
Condition: Very fine; minor silver oxidation; minor modern addition at base; remains of pin on reverse.
|Dimensions||W 2.5 x H 1.7 cm|