Plate brooches which are categorised as thin, bronze fibula with a hinge pin, appeared suddenly within the 1st century. The early examples were simple in form; disks with perforations, wheel variations or crescent-shaped. This category was short-lived and the more decorative enamelled variety were soon favoured. Skeuomorphic brooches, those resembling inanimate objects, stem from this later group of enamelled fibula. They were less popular than the zoomorphic counterparts and the most common variety were the wheel and sandal-sole type. Other forms existed, such as the dagger, the axe, phallic-type and the flagon or jug variety. Examples of the latter are scarce and a highly enamelled example is a rarity. The subject matter for skeuomorphic brooches was both apotropaic and decorative. The wheel and axe were most likely votive in design, with the former being associated strongly with Celtic solar religious imagery. The dagger and jug type lend themselves to a more decorative function, perhaps being a particularly favoured subject-matter for the owner.
To discover more on Roman and Celtic brooches, please see our relevant blog post: Roman and Celtic Fibulae