Celtic Brooches Information and History

Celtic Brooches

Celtic brooches had a style which was distinctive and still popular today. They were predominantly functional items, although still extremely decorative.

Celtic Brooch
Celtic Brooch in bronze, decorated with a bone stud attached with a gold rivet.
Photo: 7000 Years of Jewellery

Celtic styles and traditions were found in parts of Europe throughout the Roman period and reappeared just before the medieval era.

Celtic brooches were often made of bronze but some were also made in gold, silver and iron.

Many Celtic brooches were decorated with red enamel, red coral inlays, cloisonne or champlene enamelling. Some brooches had more than one of these techniques.

During the Migration period (fourth to eighth centuries AD), many brooches and other jewellery were inlaid with richly coloured stones.

Brooches are probably one of the most common items of jewellery which have been found by archeologists, which is probably due to their functionality as well as decorative purpose.

Celtic Brooches Penannular brooch
Bronze penannular brooch; plain hoop & undecorated expanding terminals; cylindrical pin-head. British Museum

Celtic brooches were often worn as cloak-fasteners on both shoulders. Celtic brooches are also referred to as penannual brooches.

Both penannular and pseudo-penannular brooches feature a long pin attached by its head to a ring; the pin can move freely around the ring as far as the terminals, which are close together. In the true penannular type, the ring is not closed; there is a gap between the terminals wide enough for the pin to pass through. In the pseudo-penannular type, the ring is closed, but there are still two separately defined terminals, which are joined by a further element. The penannular type is a simple and efficient way of fastening loosely woven cloth (where the pin will not leave a permanent hole), but the pseudo-penannular type is notably less efficient.

Celtic brooches acted as a safety-pin where the pin was secured in a catch-plate at the foot of the brooch and a bow would link the foot and spring.

Celtic brooches were usually cast in one piece.

 

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Antique, Celtic "Globular" Brooch

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RARE Celtic "Crossbow" Brooch

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RARE Antique Celtic Torque or Ring Brooch, 2nd Century, Found Near Thetford, UK

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Ancient Indo-European Proto-Celtic Galatia Arrowpoint Brooch Pin Pendant 5500BC

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Ancient Old Ornament Silver Fibula Brooch (AVG)

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HORSE WITH EVIL EYES FIBULA ANCIENT CELTIC BRONZE ZOOMORPHIC BROOCH 200-50 B.C.

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LOT OF 3 IRON CELTIC HALLSTATT FIBULA BROOCH

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HORSE WITH EVIL EYES FIBULA ANCIENT CELTIC BRONZE ZOOMORPHIC BROOCH 200-50 B.C.

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ancient Hallstatt bronze brooch,also used by Roman,dated circa 50 B.C.

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OMEGA FIBULA ANCIENT CELTIC BRONZE BROOCH 200-50 B.C.

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BRONZE AGE BROOCH ANCIENT ILLYRIANS BRONZE CROSS FORM FIBULA 1100-900 B.C.

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Celtic Omega Shape Penannular Brooch Medieval Cloak Pin Artifact 500AD i41685

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TETRAGONAL OPENWORK SUN FIBULA ANCIENT CELTIC BRONZE COSMIC BROOCH 200-50 B.C.

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CELTIC BRONZE SPIRAL FIBULA / BROOCH

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LA TENE CELTIC BRONZE FIBULA SCHOSSHALDE BERNE bronzo Fibel kelten celti Brooch

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Group Of Ancient Old Bronze Fibula Brooch (JLL)

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Ancient Old Bronze Fibula Brooch (249-1215)

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LARGE ANCIENT BRONZE AGE SPECTACLE BROOCH - CIRCA 9THC TO 6THC BC

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CELTIC BRONZE SPIRAL FIIBULA / BROOCH

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