Antiquities > Fibulae and Clothing Items

Dating Fibulas

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Ambrotypist:
Greetings,
  I am curious about the time period of this Fibula in my collection?
 Also are  fake Fibulas very commen?
This one is brass, measures 50 mm long and 20 mm wide, the curved section is 15 mm deep.
 Thanks for your time.
Tim

PeterD:
This type of fibula is known as a "cross-bow" type. A larger, more complete one is shown below. They are dated to around the 4th century A.D., give or take a century or two.

I don't know anything specific about fake fibulas, but real ones are very common (they must have been easily lost), so I wouldn't have thought that these mass-produced types were worth faking.

Ambrotypist:
Thanks for the time period PeterD.
 I am going to start collecting these hence the fake question. It is good to hear that fakes are not abundent in this field(yet?).
 Any good reference books/websites on Fibulas?
My thanks to Forum Ancient coins for supporting this forum.
Tim

Akropolis:
"(they must have been easily lost), "

I suspect most of what you see for sale came from ancient cemetaries.
PeteB

otlichnik:
There are many fake fibulae out there.  But the fakes are mostly limited to plate (flat) filbuae in fancy shapes.  I would stay away from those fancy plate fibulae (zoomorphic/animal, ROMA, etc.) till you can learn more.  Few of the arched bow fibulae are fake.

The one Ambrotype showed looks good.  It is an early crossbow fibula generally found at Roman sites on the Danube frontier and dating to circa 225-275 AD.  Known variously as Bohme type 28G or Jobst type 25D.  Also found in Richard Hattatt's book as #s 1253 and 1254.

I wrote a basic article on wikipedia if you search under fibulae.  There are many books but few in English.

Shawn

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