An extremely fine ancient Roman bronze brooch in the form of a ''Fylfot'' or swastika. This design (also known as a hakenkreuz or bent cross) is an ancient sun symbol used in many cultures, denoting life and good luck.
Ancient Roman - circa 2nd century AD
Excellent condition - the surface shows a nice dark patina and the pin and catch plate are intact. This example is enhanced by the addition of incised lines on each of the arms. (25 x 25 mm – 1 x 1'')
The word ''Fylfot'' may have derived from the Anglo-Saxon ''fower fot'' meaning four-footed. For a similar, but incomplete example, see Hattatt ''Ancient Brooches,'' #1145.
The fibula was in widespread use throughout the ancient world, originally functioning as a fastening for a heavy cloak or tunic. The Roman conquests spread the use of the fibula, which became the basis for more complicated brooches that served both as functional and decorative elements. The ''safety-pin'' type of fibula/brooch continued to be used up into the Middle Ages.