Timeless are pleased to offer a large Roman Military Crossbow Brooch, dating from the 3rd - 4th centuries A.D.
The crossbow brooch was ubiquitous throughout the late Roman empire, often worn on the shoulder with the long, tapering leg uppermost (so that the brooch would appear inverted to us). The deep bow of the brooch would allow the Roman soldier to 'gather up' the thick material of his cloak and pin it securely - much like the other classic Roman military brooch: the knee brooch.
The crossbow brooch is a type of fibula brooch (essentially a fancy safety pin -fibula means clasp) from 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 and at c.7cm in length, the brooch is intricately decorated on both its bow and leg.
Here's an overpriced example at York Antiquities.
Now available in the Timeless Galleries
DECORATED ROMAN MILITARY BROOCH
Acquired by Timeless in 2018 on the specialist UK antiquities market, formerly in the renowned Chris Rudd collection, Norfolk, UK.