Gold fibula of "sanguisuga" type

c. 630 BCE
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General Description

One of the most popular types of Etruscan jewelry is the fibula, a garment fastener consisting of a straight pin coiled to form a spring at one end, a catchplate that secures the pin at the other end, and a decorative element that holds pin and catchplate together. This fibula is a variant of the leech-shaped type, with a very short and high-arched bow and a long catchplate, or foot. Plain wire rings reinforce the joins between bow and pin, and between bow and catchplate. The hollow bow and the sheath-like foot feature the same applied decoration as on 1991.75.2—highly stylized heart and palmette shapes rendered in double lines of granulation.

Adapted from

Barbara Deppert-Lippitz, Ancient Gold Jewelry at the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art in association with the University of Washington Press, 1996), 34; 122.

Fun Facts

  • Jewelry was far more than merely ornament to the Etruscans; it was often close to being a magic charm or amulet and implied the protection of the gods.