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Roman gold silver and bronze fibula



Material  Bronze/Copper Alloy & Gold plating
Dimensions 6.7cm long x 4.9cm wide
Roman Empire Mid 4th Century AD

Bronze Crossbow Fibula with the remnants of a gold plating that once covered the entire piece.  The catch plate area has a central raised ridge while two perpendicular ridges extend upwards from it.  The beginning of the arch where it is connected to the catch plate has an accordion style pattern before the traditional wide arch extends out over the original bronze pin. 

The front portion of the fibula has the typical bulbed ends.  The bulbed ends have an octagon type shape and are not rounded like others.  The front bulb is not welded to the rest of the Fibula, but is attached with a split rivet that holds it to the arch.  The cross bar also has three raised edges, also quite common on these types of fibulas.  Much of the fibula still has the gold plating on it, and at one time it would have covered the entire piece. 

This Fibula is similar to the other gold plated Fibula, however is a bit larger and retains slightly more of the guilding on it. It is also not as decorative as the highly decorative Fibula however is still more ornate than the average one.

The term "Crossbow Fibula" is believed to be a modern term describing the shape when viewed from the top, a Cross or Crossbow.  A Fibula was used to hold together the Toga/clothing of the Roman Soldier and Citizen. The arch would have been where the fabric bunched while the pin secured it.  This would have belonged to someone of higher status than the average Roman since it was plated in gold. (1)

Click on Pictures for higher resolution

Front View

Front View II

Pin close up View

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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