Silver crossbow-brooch with three knobs at the head-end and niello decoration on the bow.
Small silver brooch of crossbow type. The bow is decorated with a running chevron pattern inlaid with niello, and the relatively short, narrow foot has two pairs of cross mouldings and lightly chamfered sides at the tip. The catchplate is a simple, open one. The simple tubular cross-bar terminates in very small rounded knobs, and the central knob terminal is also small, though slightly pointed.
- Found/Acquired: Olbia
- (Europe,Ukraine,Mykolaiv (oblast),Olbia)
- Width: 3.1 centimetres (of head)
- Length: 5.8 centimetres
- Weight: 7.82 grammes
It is a type which was found throughout the Empire in the 4th century ad, and, unlike most earlier fibula types, was quite often made in gold, silver or gilded bronze, as well as plain bronze. It was, indeed, the only fibula type which was commonly used in the Late-Roman period. The silver specimen in this collection has all the typical features of an early example in the type-series: it is small and slender, has a short, narrow foot, small knob terminals and a simple, open catchplate. Later crossbow-brooches are larger, often excessively so, with proportionately longer and wider feet, very large knob terminals, and often have elaborate decoration and an ingenious fastening mechanism.
26 November 1996
Clean, to show niello. Req 64044
Req 64044 Nov 96 Bow previously chemically cleaned, but now uniformly black, some silver choride obscuring parts of niello, adjacent silver surface etched. Rest of fibula: quite thick layer of silver chloride overall. Pin broken, previously repaired with adhesive.
Req 64044 Nov 96 Bow area cleaned with airbrasive, sodium bicarbonate powder. Silver chloride removed with a scalpel to reveal original surface (which, however, is black sulphide). Pin repairs strengthened with HMG heatproof and waterproof adhesive (cellulose nitrate).
Greek & Roman Antiquities
- 193 (old cat. no.)
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Object reference number: GAA84638
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