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Roman Gold Military Crossbow Brooch

Antiquities - Roman


LOT 0147

Estimate
GBP (£) 5,000 - 7,000
EUR (€) 5,600 - 7,840
USD ($) 6,610 - 9,250
Additional Fees*

Opening Bid: £5,000 (EUR 5,598; USD 6,610)
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ROMAN GOLD MILITARY CROSSBOW BROOCH
4th century AD

A large gold crossbow brooch comprising a hollow hexagonal-section crossbar with beaded wire collars and onion-shaped knop terminals, third knop above and scroll detailing to the upper face; D-section bow with waisted ledge to the lower end, D-section footplate with triangle detailing to the long sides; catchplate to the reverse with lateral slot; the bow with possibly restored inlaid niello, text VTERE / FELIX, utere felix, for 'use [this] happily'. 46 grams, 83mm (3 1/2").

Condition
Extremely fine condition.

Provenance
Property of a South West London gentleman; acquired by his father in the 1970s; by descent 1986. Accompanied by X-Ray Fluorescence metal analysis certificate 00897-2017RB.

Literature
Cf. Wamser, L. Die Welt von Byzanz - Europas Östliches Erbe, München, 2004, item 3 for type.

Footnotes
Crossbow brooches were popular as sumptuous Imperial gifts from the late third to mid-sixth century. The act of giving money and valuable gifts to the soldiers of the Roman legions or to the Praetorian Guard by the Roman Emperors was known as donativum. The purpose of the donativa varied with some being expressions of gratitude for favors received, and others bribing the troops for their loyalty.Donativa were normally rendered at the beginning of each new emperor's reign. During the second and third centuries this form of bribery became a crucial part of any successful ruler in Rome, as was the case with many of the soldier-emperors from 235 to 248 AD.

The expression utere felix is one of the most common inscriptional formula on items from the Roman Empire, and is used to wish good luck, well-being and joy and is often inscribed on valuable personal possessions such as jewellery in the late-Roman period.

Date
Tuesday 21st November 2017
to Saturday 25 November 2017:

Antiquities & Coin Catalogue Auction

Last 2 Days Left to Bid!

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Lot No. 0147

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Auction Catalogue


Auction Venue:
Emmanuel Centre
9-23 Marsham Street
Westminster
London, SW1P 3DW

Viewing from noon Monday 20th November 2017
Champagne Reception: 5.30 - 9pm
Auctions start 10am GMT (Lunch 1.30 - 2pm)


Tuesday 21st November 2017 (Day 1)
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Wednesday 22nd November 2017 (Day 2)
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Coins, Banknotes & Medals (lot 1001 - 1211)

Auction Venue:
The Court House
363 Main Road
Harwich, CO12 4DN


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(lot 1301 -1905)
Friday 24th November 2017 (Day 4)
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Saturday 25th November 2017 (Day 5)
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Tuesday 21st November 2017
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Antiquities & Coin Catalogue Auction

Last 2 Days Left to Bid!

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