A SPECIALIST COLLECTION OF ANCIENT FIBULAE
Ancient fibulae are not rare, however this collection which was formed over a 15 year period includes some of the finest and rarest types one is likely to encounter outside a museum. It also includes many choice examples and unusual variants of more common types which were carefully selected from thousands of pieces.
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B2436. A LARGE ITALIC PLATE FIBULA. Iron Age, ca. 9th century BC. This 'serpentine' fibula is an elaboration of the simple Italic violin-bow fibula with a twisting and bending upper bow. One and two piece variations are known with both bent and straight pins. Catches can be either simple holders like a modern safety pin or more complex wire spirals. The most ornate fibulae like this one have engraved discs for catch-plates, knobbed pins and bows with added rings and spirals. Both elements of the fibula, bow and pin were cast, then hammered into shape. A wrapped coil of wire adorns the knobbed pin. The bow was cast as a long rod with concentric discs along the shaft, then twisted. The disc catch-plate is actually an extension of the bow hammered flat and coiled into a closed spiral. It is engraved with cross-hatched triangles and inter-locking crosses. The entire fibula is a tour-de-force of the metalsmith's art and a perfect illustration of the early European preoccupation with geometry. Cf. Randall-MacIver, The Iron Age in Italy, A Study of Those Aspects of the Early Civilizations Which Are Neither Villanovan nor Etruscan (Oxford, 1927) fig. 66B. Johannes Sundwall, Die Alteren Italischen Fibeln (Berlin, 1943) fig. 255. 7 inches. One of a matching pair, the other one of the pair was exhibited in 'Plain Geometry, Armament and Adornment in Pre-Classical Europe' 1997 and published in the exhibition catalog, no. 12 from which the above description has been taken. It was then offered by a New York gallery at $14,000. Repaired near knob. Would benefit from a professional cleaning which would reveal more detail.
B2437. A FINE VILLANOVAN 'LEECH-FORM' FIBULA. Early Iron Age, ca. 8th century BC. This bronze fibula (sanguisuga) hollow cast by the lost-wax method, is an early example of the type with enclosed body decorated with ridges on the front. 2.25 x 2.5 inches. A matching pair of this rare type fibulae with more ornate ridged design was recently offered by a New York Gallery priced at $15,000. Fine forest green patina. Intact.
B2438. A VILLANOVAN 'LEECH-FORM' FIBULA. Early Iron Age, ca. 8th century BC. This bronze fibula (sanguisuga) hollow cast by the lost-wax method, is an early example of the type with enclosed body decorated with ridges on the front. 1.75 x 2.4 inches. Pin and catch-plate clasp lost.
B2439. A FINE EARLY ETRUSCAN 'BOAT-FORM' FIBULA. Iron Age, ca. 7th century BC. The bow open on the underside and swelling in the center and decorated with longitudinal ribs coming to projecting points at the center. Coil spring and original pin resting along long concave catch-plate. 2.3 x 4.5 inches. Beautiful dark green patina. Rare this nice.
B2440. A FINE EARLY ETRUSCAN 'BOAT-FORM' FIBULA. Iron Age, ca. 7th century BC. The bow open on the underside and swelling in the center and decorated with longitudinal ribs coming to projecting knobs at the center. Coil spring and original pin resting along long concave catch-plate. 1.5 x 3 inches. Intact and rare this nice.
B2441. AN EARLY GREEK BRONZE FIBULA, ca. 6th-4th century BC. Rare bow with twist style. 3.9". Said to have been found near Syracuse.
B2442. A CHOICE GREEK FIBULA, ca. 4th-2nd century BC. The small bronze bow fibula with knobbed end, the entire body covered in a beautiful gem-like turquoise patina. 1.5".
B2443. A FINE HELLENISTIC KNOBBED BOW FIBULA, ca. 3rd-1st century BC. The heavy solid cast bow with three large knobs, the body continuing through a single looped spring into the pin. 1.5 x 1.9 inches. Excellent patina and condition.
B2444. A FINE PERSIAN ARM FIBULA, ca. 5th-3rd century BC. The bronze fibula in the form of a bent arm terminating in a catch plate with incised fingers, the body beautifully ornamented. 3.5 inches. Iron pin lost. An especially large and fine example of the type with fine patina.
B2445. A LARGE PHOENICIAN FIBULA, ca. 6th-4th century BC. Greek style bronze bow fibula with very high arch. 2.5 x 3.2 inches. Rare and in excellent condition.
B2446. A SYRIAN ZOOMORPHIC FIBULA, ca. 3rd-1st century BC. The bronze fibula in the form of a wolf with arched body, the head projecting, with incised ornamentation. 3.25 inches. Very rare.
B2447. A FINE ZOOMORPHIC BROOCH. Perhaps Parthian or Sassanian, ca. 2nd-5th century AD. Finely cast in the form of a mouflon with curled horns with incised detail, the body cover with annular ornamentaion. 1.8 x 2 inches. Iron pin lost. Ex. Joseph Ternbach collection. On custom lucite stand. Choice type and condition.
B2448. A CHOICE ROMAN FIGURAL BROOCH, ca. 1st-3rd century AD. The bronze brooch with the head of a goddess wearing a necklace with three large pendants and a turretted crown, all centered in a sunburst or floral device. 1.6 inches. Said to have been found in the Holy Land. Extemely rare, and with excellent condition and style.
B2449. A ROMAN FIBULA WITH INSCRIPTION, ca. 1st-3rd century. The bow type bronze fibula with inscription LOVII molded in the terminal. 2 inches. Rare.
B2450. A CHOICE ROMAN FIBULA, ca. 1st-3rd century. The heavier spring loaded fibula with ornate spring retainer arching to a wide flat tail with molded and incised designs. 2.3 inches. A number of areas of gilding showing through depressions in the fine glossy patina. Original pin and spring, the whole a superb example in choice condition.
B2451. A FINE ROMAN FIBULA, ca. 2nd-3rd century. The spring loaded fibula with finely incised triangular point above the wide spring retainer. 1.4 inches. Fine glossy black patina. Rare.
B2452. A ROMAN FIBULA, ca. 2nd-3rd century. Spring loaded bronze fibula with circular terminal and 'tail' above catch plate. 1.5". Nice example.
B2453. A ROMAN FIBULA, ca. 2nd-3rd century. Spring loaded bronze fibula with heavy circular hook terminal. 1.6". Scarce type.
B2454. A ROMAN 'ANCHOR STYLE' FIBULA, ca. 2nd-4th century. The spring loaded bronze fibula with anchor shaped terminal next to the spring. 1.9". Pin restored.
B2455. A HEAVY ROMAN CROSSBOW FIBULA, ca. 2nd-4th century. The large bronze fibula with heavily knobbed cross, the flat tail ornamented with incised annulettes. 3.3 inches. Rare this large.
B2456. A FINE ROMAN FIBULA, ca. 2nd-4th century. The bronze fibula with arched flat body and original pin, the whole covered with a fine gem-like forest green patina. 2.7".
B2457. A FINE ROMAN FIBULA, ca. 1st-3rd century. The small bronze fibula with large catch plate, the whole with a superb turquoise patina. 2". Pin restored.
B2458. A ROMAN FIBULA WITH HUGE SPRING, ca. 2nd-4th century. The fibula with knobbed tail and incised body retaining an exceptionally wide spring. 2.6 x 3.4 inches. Pin and one side of spring professionally restored. Very rare.
B2459. A FINE LATE ROMAN FIBULA, ca. 1st-3rd century. The bronze fibula with flat arched body with eight lateral projections on the terminals, with original pin and original wire loops both ends. 4.4 inches. Rare.
B2460. A FINE LATE ROMAN FIBULA, ca. 3rd-4th century. The large arched bronze fibula with very fine incised ornamentation on the body. 3.8". Superb patina. Original pin.
B2461. A LATE ROMAN FIBULA, ca. 3rd-4th century. The spring type bronze fibula with catch plate tail looped back and wrapped around. 2.8". Fine example.
B2462. A SUPERB GALLO-ROMAN SILVER AND GOLD FIBULA, ca. 4th-5th century. The large fibula with repouse sheet gold around the body between twin knobs, the large catchplate with finely cut out pattern of whorls, eggs and dots, areas of gilding remaining on the body. 4.2 inches. Museum quality ancient art.
B2463. A SUPERB GALLO-ROMAN SILVER FIBULA, ca. 4th-5th century. The large fibula with double-knobbed retaining loop, the large flat catch plate with a finely cut out pattern of rosettes and teardrops. 4.3 inches. Museum quality ancient art.
B2464. A LARGE GALLO-ROMAN FIBULA, ca. 4th-6th century. The bronze fibula with very large catch plate and knobbed loop over the waist. 4.4". Pin restored. A very rare type.
B2465. A GALLO-ROMAN SWASTICA FORM BROOCH, ca. 4th-6th century. Each arm of the swastica ending in a horse head. 1.25 inches. Choice example with considerable remains of tinning or silvering.
B2466. A FINE ROMANO-BRITISH BROOCH, ca. 2nd-4th century. The bronze fibula with arched openwork plate with fine incised designs and inlaid with eight enamel triangles (four green remaining), both ends molded into the heads of felines with finely incised details. 2.2". Pin restored. Very rare.
B2467. A CHOICE EARLY MEDIEVAL SILVER FIBULA, ca. 4th-6th century. The large heavy fibula with catch plate tail looped back the length of the body and ornamented with a large knob, the original spring and pin a continuation of the body. 3.6". Nice patina covering most of the silver which shows through on the spring and pin. Extremely rare.
B2468. A RARE EARLY MEDIEVAL FIBULA. Perhaps Frisian, ca. 5th-8th century. The bronze fibula with unusual notched ridge rectangular cross-section on the body, the arched hemispheric bow continuing the design. 2.7". A very rare type worthy of further study.
B2469. A CHOICE EARLY MEDIEVAL FIBULA, ca. 5th-7th century. The bronze fibula with grooved arched body, both ends terminating in dragon-like heads. 2.1 inches. Very rare and deserving of further research.
B2470. AN UNUSUAL EARLY MEDIEVAL FIBULA, ca. 4th-6th century. The bronze fibula of wide flat form with projecting crest, the whole with remains of tinned or silvered ornamental pattern consisting of dots and lines in curved patterns accentuating the form of the body and crest. 2.3 inches. Chip to crest, pin restored. Very rare.
B2471. A RARE EARLY MEDIEVAL FIBULA, ca. 4th-6th century. Spring type bronze fibula with series of knobs on the arch and the end of the catch plate wire which is been doubled back in a loop. 2.7". Extremely rare.
B2472. A RARE EARLY MEDIEVAL FIBULA, ca. 4th-6th century. Spring type bronze fibula with horizontal rhomboidal plate with a groove which carries the finely twisted end of the catch plate wire which has been doubled back in a loop. 3".
B2473. A SUPERB ANGLO-SAXON BOARS HEAD FIBULA, ca. 6th-8th century AD. The finely worked silver fibula terminating in a boars head with tusks and ridged mane above the head plate, the body decorated with bands of raised 'x's on the length of both sides, the three knobs of the head plate and the tail set with garnets, the boar's eyes also set with garnets (one lost), faint grafitti on the catch-plate reading ??LVNV | . Remains of parcel-gilding on the head plate and body. 3.2 inches. Silver pin possibly restored. Ex. Joseph Ternbach collection. A museum quality example of ancient art. Cf. 'Jewelry 7000 Years', ed. Hugh Tait, #498 for a lesser but similar example from the British Museum, PRB 1954.12-6.1.