Roman Brooch Collection

A beautifully presented set of Roman Fibula Brooches, dating from the 1st to 3rd centuries A.D.

 

The group forms part of the well-known Chris Rudd collection formed in the 1970s and 1980s, and comprises:

 

  • A 1st - 2nd century Dolphin Brooch – so named as the curved bow resembles the back of a breaching dolphin.

  • A partially enamelled 1st – 2nd century Disc Brooch displaying the sunburst of Sol Invictus.

  • A 3rd century Romano-British Trumpet Brooch - best described in the words of the late Richard Hattatt (a recognised world authority on Roman fibula brooches), “The mature British trumpet brooch is, at its best, a thing of considerable beauty and is found nowhere else in the world, other than the occasional stray.”

  • A stunning 2nd century Plate Brooch with original enamel.

  • An intricately cast and enamled Bow and Fantail Brooch of the early first century.

 

The Roman fibula brooch was essentially a fancy safety pin (fibula means clasp) and was ubiquitous throughout the Roman republic and empire. While buckles were common, and buttons occasionally used, the pin and catchplate clasp of the fibula lent itself to the flowing robes, tunics and cloaks of the Roman period.

 

With an excellent provenance, neutrally framed and hand finished, this unique collection would grace the wall of any room.

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Provenance

Acquired by Timeless in 2018 on the specialist UK antiquities market, formerly part of the renowned Chris Rudd collection, Norfolk, UK.

Roman Javelin Head

This beautiful Sicilian artefact is almost certainly an early Roman Javelin-Head dating from the 1st to 2nd century B.C.E.

 

Rome of this period was a republic (rather than an empire), and governed by the senate advising an elite group of elected magistrates. The army was essentially a semi-professional militia consisting of conscripts and volunteers made up of three types of heavy infantry: Hastati, Principes, and Triarii.

 

During battle, the Hastati were in the front row and among the first to fight. They were typically young, inexperienced men in their twenties, armed with long swords and throwing spears called Pila.

 

Behind the Hastati, the Principes were formed of older men, also armed with swords (known as the Gladius Hispaniensis, or the ‘Spanish Sword’) and throwing spears. Lastly, behind the Principes, were the Triarii– veteran warriors armed with huge thrusting spears called Hasta.

 

But standing before the massed ranks of heavy infantry, and the very first to engage the enemy, were the youngest and poorest of the Roman army – the Velites (pronounced vey-lee-tay).

 

These youths acted as skirmishers, harassing and goading the enemy in an attempt to unsettle them and disrupt formation before battle commenced. The Velites, who could not afford armour or expensive weapons, went to battle dressed in animal skins and were armed with up to seven javelins each.

 

It is notoriously difficult to precisely date spear and arrowheads as their shape changed little over millennia and they are almost always found out of context (as they were thrown or shot). However, given its age and provenance, it is likely that this ancient spearhead represents a tanged Velite javelin-head of the mid to late Roman republic.

 

We can never know for sure, but whatever its origin, it remains a treasure and a timeless artefact.

 

Provenance

Acquired by Timeless in 2018 on the specialist UK antiquities market, 2017.

Medieval Arrowhead

Timeless are pleased to offer a fantastic arrowhead of the high medieval period.

 

Forged some time in the 12th or 13th centuries, the small, leaf-shaped blade and long tang suggests that this is a Jessop type T3, and would have been used for both hunting and in warfare.

 

Provenance

Acquired by Timeless on the UK antiquities market, 2018.

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