A Romano-British silver ‘trumpet-style’ fibula brooch. The head consists of a coiled spring formed from a single silver rod. This is a attached to a trumpet-headed bow. The simple head leads to a plain button, rounded and smooth instead of the ‘acanthus’ type nodule that is common of this type. The foot of the fibula is slightly curved and decorated with two cells with incised circular detail. An intersecting linear vertical band features in the middle and features an undulating pattern. The foot ends in a small, circular foot-knob. The brooch is complete, with a well preserved pin, opening and closing, and a deep catch plate. The latter is decorated also with two intersecting zigzag lines. The item presents some patination on its surface but overall the silver is shiny and well preserved.
Date: Circa 1st-2nd century AD Provenance: Ex private Cambridge collection, found in Cambridgeshire. Condition: Excellent condition
Fibulae or brooches were originally used in the Roman Empire for fastening garments, such as cloaks or togae. The fibula designs developed into a variety of shapes, but all were based on the safety-pin principle. The Roman’s conquests spread Roman culture and therefore the use of the fibula, which became the basis for more complicated and highly decorated brooches, modelled in bronze, silver and gold and further enriched with precious and semi-precious gemstones. Fibulae are the most common artefact-type in burials and settlements throughout much of the continental Europe. By the Middle Ages, the Roman safety pin type of fibula had fallen into disuse.