Romano-British Enamel and Bronze Jug Fibula

£ 550.00

A vibrant Roman-British bronze fibula, decorated with enamel. The body has been moulded into the shape of a single-handled jug, featuring a funnel-shaped base that rests on a stepped foot. The neck is wide and flares outwards to a straight rim. Within its centre is a decorative enamel cell, consisting of a deep blue base with bright red circles, arranging in a rosette around a yellow discus. The reverse remains plain apart from the remains of a hinge. The original pin and catch-plate now missing. A very rare example.

Date: Circa 2nd-3rd century AD
Provenance: Ex Cambridge collection, ex Gorny & Mosch Sale 231, 17th June 2015, lot 272 (part), ex Slg. D.K., acquired circa 1980s.
Condition: Very good. Brilliant and vibrant enamel. Pin and catchplate missing.
Product Code: RES-199
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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

Dimensions W 2.3 x H 3.5 cm



Central Europe, North Europe, Western Europe

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