Gold fibula (brooch)

Iron Age, 1-75 AD
Found near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, England

The Market Rasen Brooch

This unusual gold brooch was found by someone using a metal detector in Lincolnshire. The complicated shape of the head of the brooch gives the impression that it was made to look like a grotesque bird. The name of this type of brooch, 'Birdlip', comes from the place were another example was found. These brooches were made and worn by people living just before and after the Roman Conquest of southern England in AD 43.

The shape of the brooch is not very common, and it is very unusual for an Iron Age brooch to have been made from gold. Considerable care was given to making this brooch, even down to engraving a tiny La Tène design on the catch plate of the brooch's foot.

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Gold fibula (brooch)

View of one side

  • View of side from above

    View of side from above

  • View of one side

    View of one side


More information


S. James and V. Rigby, Britain and the Celtic Iron Ag (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)

V. Rigby, 'British 'Birdlip' brooch', British Museum Magazine: th-22, 26 (1996), pp. 19-20


Length: 44.000 mm
Weight: 14.000 g

Museum number

P&EE 1996 6-1 1



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