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Unique ID: NMGW3323

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Copper alloy brooch of Pannonian Flugelfibel type. The head of the brooch expands to accommodate the missing spring and pin mechanism which was held in place by a central rearward lug the upper part of which was extended to form the chord hook. The upper part of the straight bow is embellished with a single knob set between two forward facing wings curved towards each other, the lower of which is incomplete. The end of the upper wing, which has been repaired by the finder, contains a central perforation (diameter 2-3mm), presumably to accommodate a knob or other fitting. Only the section of the catchplate immediately adjacent to the bow is intact; towards the top of the bow it is complete (width 9mm), however, where it should widen midway along the bow it is broken along an apparently serrated edge which presumably marks the line of openwork decoration nearest the bow. In addition to most of the catchplate and the spring mechanism, the lower part of the bow is also missing. Surviving length 69mm, width of head 21mm, weight 20.3 grams.

Drawing upon work by Jochen Garbsch, the Pannonian Flugelfibel (trans. Winged brooch) type, sometimes also known as the Norican-Pannonian wing-brooch (e.g. Mocsy 1974, 63, pl.4a), is discussed by Hattatt (1987, 34-37). Pannonia was one of the border provinces of the Roman Emperor located within Central Europe. Its borders were defined on the north and east by the River Danube, on the west by the Alps and on the south by the River Drava (an area equivalent to northern parts of the former Yugoslavia, eastern Austria and western Hungary). Hattatt notes that the vogue of the Flugelfibel type extends from the beginning of the first century AD and into the second century, and that their size varies from c.40mm to c.210mm (Hattatt 1987, 34, 36). Its most distinctive features are the openwork decoration almost always present on the catchplates and the eponymous curved wings set either side of a knobbed moulding at the top of the bow, and upon each of which are usually fixed two, three or four knobs (Hattatt 1987, 37).

A large number of contemporary carvings depict Flugelfibel, and their study suggest that they were exclusively worn by women, in pairs, one on each shoulder, pin point uppermost (as is usual for ancient brooches) and sometimes, with the larger examples of the type, with the foot of the brooch extending up to ear height (Hattatt 1987, 37, fig.14g). Hattatt notes that only one example of this type from Britain is recorded in Hull's unpublished 'corpus' of brooches, suggesting that Flugelfibel are unusual finds for Roman Britain. The author is not aware of any other British examples. One of the intriguing, but unanswerable, questions concerning this brooch is whether it was imported into the Chepstow area before or after the Roman Conquest.

Class: Flugelfibel

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: ROMAN
Date from: AD 43
Date to: AD 410

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 69 mm
Width: 21 mm
Weight: 20.3 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Thursday 1st February 2001

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by:
Identified by:

Other reference numbers

Other reference: NMGWPA: 2000.102.2

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Decoration style: Openwork
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: Wales (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Monmouthshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Monmouthshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Chepstow (Community)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: ST5391
Four figure Latitude: 51.615853
Four figure longitude: -2.680212
1:25K map: ST5391
1:10K map: ST59SW
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Other
Specific landuse: Unknown

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Hattatt, R. 1987 Brooches of Antiquity: a third selection of brooches from the author's collection Oxford Oxbow Books
Mocsy, A 1974 Pannonia and Upper Moesia (trans S. Frere) London Routledge & Kegan Paul

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NMGW
Created: 17 years ago
Updated: 8 years ago

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