YOU ARE HERE:>>REAL or FAKE>>Fake Roman brooches, section 4.


Wheares one certainly  does find ancient brooches with intact pins, nevertheless a very large number of perfectly genuine Roman bronze brooches coming from The Balkans in particular have new pins usually  of coper rather than the more common original iron ones which rust away. Many brooches have new articially aged new spring coils as well, again  often in copper.


These are frequently quite apparent in good photgraphs and several good sellers openly declare that their brooches have such restorations.

Thanks to Renate for many of these the photographs.


You can see that fake patina is sometimes painted on to make them look a little better.



Oddly, the replacement axis bar is sometimes simply a splinter of wood or even a matchstick!



Not only new pins are put on  broken brooches but whole springs and pins and these are sometimes taken from other broken brooches or more usually, simply new artifially aged copper wire.

Left: original, corroded hinge pin. Right:glued on hinge pin

Left: probably an riginal hinge pin despite the colour difference. Note, no corrosion at point of insert. Right. similar hinge pin , defintely original: also little corrosion.

Original springs

Left: Original , corroded. Right: New pin. You can see where the original pin broke off.


As I mentioned above, not only new pins are put on  broken brooches but whole springs and pins and these are often taken from other broken brooches.

So you need to make sure the spring chord is in the right position for that type of brooch.

These two examples on the left are Kraftig Profilierte types which do oten have a chord hook (depends on if they are a one piece two piece in manufacture). You can see it well on the example at the bottom where it is in good positition. It's a fake added coil and pin despite this!), The chord of the piece at bottom right is not as close to the bow as it ist ought to be. This would not actually work properly in use.

The chord can be in one of three positions.


For example, this brooch has a replaced spring and chord: and the chord is  in the wrong place.


The bow on this fibula is too flat to accommodate the chord between the bow and the pin.

Looking at these near parallels  it's worth  remembering that  brooches of this form  which have 'outside' chords are cheap simple ones with flattish bows and they don't have a suspension loop.


A close parallel of this type with suspension loop is "Hattatt  number 1245" : but it does have the chord under the bow of course.


You can find an outline of the principal types of Continental brooches of the Roman period here.

To decide if a brooch has the chord spring in the right place refer to this useful book.


A Visual Catalogue of Richard Hattatt's Ancient Brooches


And speaking of Hattatt>>>>>>