Roman Gold Inlaid Fibula

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Roman gold silver and bronze fibula

Location Discovered Bulgaria
Material  Bronze/Copper Alloy & Gold & Silver Inlay
Dimensions 4.3cm long x 3.0cm wide
Roman Empire Early 4th Century AD

Bronze Crossbow Fibula with amazing gold foiled design along the arch and cross piece.  This design shows a continuous arch pattern interchanged by a leaf/flower motive along the arch.  The cross pieces have an opposite facing continuous triangle pattern with a swirling design through the middle.  There are nine small raised gold spheres that run in a straight line along the stem.  Gold triangles jet vertically along the side of the stem, while a silver base with silver triangles flows in parallel.  The two end knobs are each covered in the remnants of gold plating with two silver rope designed rings that round each of the high points (one knob only has one ring remaining).    

The front tip appears to be made or iron and has corroded somewhat, but the bronze pin still remains and still sits nicely inside its holder.

A Fibula was used to hold together the Toga/clothing of the Roman Soldier and Citizen.  This style was called "Crossbow" due to its unique shape similar to a crossbow.  The arch would have been where the fabric bunched while the pin secured it.  An exceedingly rare and master piece example.  This would have belonged to someone of extreme wealth and status.  The craftsman who made this item truly created a work of art, now preserved. (1)


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(1) References to similar items: FEUGERE, Michel; Weapons of the Romans, page 118 2002

**Note on background. Close up view of the wall of the Colosseum of Pula, Croatia. Picture taken 2014