Enameled Bronze Fibula: Roman “Turtle Brooch” Circa 2nd Century AD
An elaborate Roman enameled bronze zoomorphic brooch depicting a “turtle”. There are compartments with red and green enamel on the tailpiece and a circular red enamel inset on the "turtle shell". The surface shows a thick green patina. No pin attached. This is an uncommon form – for a brooch with a similar tailpiece found in Britain see Hattatt “Ancient Brooches,” plate 601.
The fibula was in widespread use throughout the ancient world. The Roman conquests spread the use of the fibula, which became the basis for more complicated brooches. In the severe climate of northern Europe, it routinely functioned as a fastening for a heavy cloak or tunic. The safety-pin type of fibula continued to be used up into the Middle Ages.
(20 x 45 mm – 3/4 x 1 3/4”)