Boat Bow Fibula

Unknownc. 625 BCE

Altes Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Altes Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

In addition to the dragon bow fibulae, the "leech" or boat bow fibulae played a major part in the seventh century BC. Their Italian name a sanguisuga is derived from the fat and swollen-looking half-moon shape of bow resembling a leech. As in this example found at Vulci, the long pin rest often ends in an animal head. The surface is decorated with parallel rows of high arcs of tiny strips of gold sheet and patterns of gold granules, again a most ingenious and elaborate piece of work. This leads us directly to the prime of Etruscan goldsmithing in the seventh and sixth century BC. Three large chieftain's tombs from the first half of the seventh century BC, the "Tomba Barberini" and the "Tomba Bernardini" in Praenestre/Palestrina (both exhibited at the Villa Giulia in Rome) as well as the "Tomba Regolini-Galassi" in Cerveteri (now in the Vatican), on the one hand are evidence of close cultural contacts and trade relations with the Phoenicians and the eastern Mediterranean. On the other hand, they document the incredible wealth and high quality of Etruscan goldwork, some of which must have been created solely to adorn the dead because of the thin sheet metal and weak fastenings.

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  • Title: Boat Bow Fibula
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: c. 625 BCE
  • Location: Nekropole Polledrara, Vulci
  • Type: Jewellery
  • Medium: Gold
  • Inv.-No.: G.I. 272
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-814319
  • External link: Altes Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Text: © Verlag Schnell & Steiner / Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Agnes Schwarzmaier || Photo: © b p k - || Photo Agency / Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Johannes Laurentius
  • Collection: Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz