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Lot 33a, Auction 7/11/2017: Huge Central European Spiral Fibula

Central Europe, Hungary, Bronze Age, ca. 12th to 8th century BCE. What a display of ancient wealth! A giant bronze fibula, made from a series of looped, coiled, and spiraled thick bronze rods bound together by three flattened bronze straps. Four spectacle-style spirals are on each side of the straps, forming the bow of the fibula; atop them is a large loop that was once a complete spiral (see the example from Christie's below) that formed the catch-plate. At the opposite end there would once have been a hinge. This style of brooch is known as "Posamenterie" after the archaeological site where one was first found, located in Silesia (modern day Poland, Germany, and Czech Republic). They are found from the Baltic to the Black Sea, and seem to have originated in the fertile valleys that drain the Carpathians. They are often found in graves and hoards with swords and lugged axes. This form is the most distinctive and striking of the European fibulae. Comes with custom stand. Size: 4.5" W x 11.7" H (11.4 cm x 29.7 cm); height on stand: 14.75" (37.5 cm).

An intact example sold at Christie's for $4182 in 2003: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/a-central-european-bronze-fibula-hungary-middle-4205039-details.aspx?from=salesummary&pos=10&intObjectID=4205039&sid=c0a228b7-1a8e-42a6-996a-38b84a7ab3a4&page=6

Condition: Center of largest spiral is lost, as is the bottom hinge. Slight bending to form, with nice blue-green patina.

Provenance: private York, England collection acquired before 1995

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