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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Antiquities ▸ Antiquities by Type ▸ Fibulas and ClothingView Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Fibulae and Clothing Items

A fibula (plural fibulae) is an ancient brooch. Technically, the Latin term, fibulae, refers to Roman brooches; however, the term is widely used to refer to brooches from the entire ancient and early medieval world that continue Roman forms. Fibulae were used to fasten clothing or, in some cases, purely for decoration. They followed the straight pin in evolution and were eventually replaced by buttons. They are perhaps most famous as the fastener on Roman military cloaks - the sagum and paludamentum. However, they were used centuries before Rome was founded and for centuries after it fell. They were used by Greeks, Persians, Phrygians, Celts, Germans, Slavs and many other peoples in addition to Romans. They were used by soldiers and civilians; by men, women and children. They can thus signify culture, tribe, sex, status or profession - though not always. They were used on robes, shirts and dresses as well as cloaks. One thing they were never used on was the toga, which was simply folded and draped and was not fixed by any pin.


Roman, Bronze Bird Fibula, c. 3rd - 5th Century A.D.

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AS61829. Roman fibula; cf. Hattatt BOA 1156 - 1159; 1.25 inches, pin missing; from a New Jersey collection, c. 3rd - 5th century A.D.; $190.00 (Ä169.10)


Roman, Bronze Lozenge Shaped Stepped Brooch, c. 2nd Century A.D.

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From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.

Appears to be from the same workshop as the referenced Hattatt brooch, which was found in Britain.
AS36059. Bronze stepped brooch, cf. Hattatt BoA, 1085; cf. Malloy Auction LXI, May, 9, 2001, 1241; 28 mm long; finely made, Choice, diamond shape, without lugs, enamel diamond in center, stepped levels with incised lines, hinged pin, rear hollowed hemispherically; complete with pin, two holes from corrosion; rare without lugs; $100.00 (Ä89.00)


Roman, Bronze Crossbow Fibula, c. 4th - 5th Century

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AA31075. length 8.5 cm (3 1/4"), Superb, original pin, attractive geometric inscribed decoration; SOLD







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REFERENCES

Allason-Jones, L. (ed.). Artefacts in Roman Britain: Their Purpose and Use. (Cambridge, 2011).
Bayley, J. & S. Butcher. Roman Brooches in Britain: A Technological and Typological Study based on the Richborough Collection. (London, 2004).
Binding, U. Band 16: Studien zu den figŁrlichen Fibeln der FrŁhlatenzeit. (Bonn, 1993).
Blinkenberg, C. Fibules grecques et orientales. (Kobenhavn, 1926).
Davidson, G. Corinth XII : The Minor Objects. The American School of Classical Studies at Athens. (Princeton, 1952).
Deppert-Lippitz, B. "A Late Antique Crossbow Fibula in the Metropolitan Museum of Arts" in Metropolitan Museum Journal 35, 2010.
Egan, G. & F. Pritchard. Dress Accessories: 1150-1450 AD. (Boydell, 2002).
Hattatt, R. A Visual catalogue of Richard Hattatt's Ancient Brooches. (Oxford, 2000).
Hattatt, R. Ancient Brooches and Other Artifacts. (Oxford, 1989).
Hattatt, R. Ancient and Romano-British Brooches. (Dorset, 1982).
Hattatt, R. Brooches of Antiquity. (Oxford, 1987).
Hattatt, R. Iron Age and Roman Brooches. (Oxford, 1985).
Mackreth, D. Brooches in Late Iron Age and Roman Britain. (Oxford, 2011).
Milavec, T. "Crossbow fibulae of the 5th and 6th centuries in the southeastern Alps" in Arheolo?ki Vestnik 60, 2009.
Mills, N. Celtic and Roman Artefacts. (Buxton Press, Derbyshire, 2000).
Shopland, N. Archaeological Finds: A Guide to Identification. (Tempus, 2005).
Swift, E. "Personal Ornaments" in Allason-Jones, Lindsay (ed.). Artefacts in Roman Britain: Their Purpose and Use. (Cambridge, 2011).

See Fibula in NumisWiki for additional references.

Catalog current as of Sunday, April 30, 2017.
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Fibulae & Clothing Items