Identification and Creation
Object Number
1939.144
Title
Wire Fibula with Ram's Head Terminals
Other Titles
Former Title: Fibula, East Hellenistic in Style
Classification
Jewelry
Work Type
pin, fibula
Date
n.d.
Places
Creation Place: Unidentified Region
Period
Modern
Culture
Unidentified culture
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Brass, silvered with traces of gilding
Technique
Cast
Dimensions
4.3 x 4.2 cm (1 11/16 x 1 5/8 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: XRF data from Tracer
Alloy: Brass
Alloying Elements: copper, zinc
Other Elements: lead, iron
Comments: Silvering and traces of gilding were detected in some areas on this piece.

K. Eremin, January 2014

Technical Observations: The object appears to be modern. No corrosion is present.


Henry Lie (submitted 2012)

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Mrs. Eric Schroeder in honor of Mr. Forbes's Thirtieth Anniversary as Director of the Museum
Accession Year
1939
Object Number
1939.144
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions

Published Catalogue Text: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
The C-shaped fibula has rams’ head terminals and is intact except for the pin, which is missing. On the back, a thin wire spiral serves as the catchplate; on the other arm are the remains of a hinge and spring. The body of the fibula consists of twisted wires alternating between wider wires of a lighter color and thinner, darker wires that are already twisted. The finials are molded collars with horizontal stripes, which sit below the rams’ heads with curving horns. The ears, eyes, nose, and mouth are indicated, as is perhaps some wool on the top of the head and underside of the chin.

This fibula is not an ancient type. It seems to mimic ancient bracelets with zoomorphic terminals known from the Near East, including Cyprus (1) and Achaemenid Persia, but those types of bracelets were not worn as fibulae.

NOTES:

1. Compare J. L. Myres and M. Ohnefalsch-Richter, A Catalogue of the Cyprus Museum (Oxford, 1899) 130, no. 4253, pl. 7, a “hollow gold-plated bronze” bracelet with rams’ head terminals and a twisted hoop from Kourion. Similar terminals with a solid hoop can be seen on a pair of gold-plated bracelets, also from Kourion, currently in the British Museum, inv. nos. 1896,0201.141-.142. Compare also J. Stettgast, Von Troja bis Amarna: The Norbert Schimmel Collection, New York, exh. cat., Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg (Mainz, 1978) no. 95, a silver arm band with two rams’ head terminals on a coiled bracelet body.


Lisa M. Anderson

Subjects and Contexts

Ancient Bronzes

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu