GROUP OF THREE ITALIC FIBULAE CIRCA 8th CENTURY BC

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Object Description

Central European

The three fibulae are made identically, each from a single piece of wire which has been very tightly twisted into two coiled spirals; if carefully examined the wire can be seen to begin and end with the pin and attachment loop at the back of the brooch.

Although very little art from the European Bronze Age survives, brooches like these give us an idea of the motifs which are likely to be found on other artefacts, maybe they were carved into wooden bowls and pressed into pottery. This conjoined spiral is certainly amongst the oldest of designs from ancient Europe and is found in the Neolithic period which preceded the Bronze Age. It is likely that this spiral motif had ritualistic significance and indeed it is found in primitive cultures elsewhere in the world.

Object History

Swiss Private Collection
Dr R.H (1922-2007)
Acquired on the European art market in the 1980’s -1990’s

Object Literature

Antiquities from Europe and the Near East in the Collection of The Lord McAlpine of West Green pub. Ashmolean Publications

Object Details

  • material
  • year
    Circa 8th Century BCE

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