Large Brooch, Copper alloy, European Bronze Age

Large Brooch

1100–1000 BC
European Bronze Age
Copper alloy
Overall: 11 1/8 x 7 11/16 x 1 11/16 in. (28.2 x 19.5 x 4.3 cm)
Metalwork-Copper alloy
Credit Line:
Gift of Josef and Brigitte Hatzenbuehler, 2007
Accession Number:
2007.498.1a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 301
This brooch is one of the largest, most complex objects of its type to survive from late Bronze Age Europe. The five dynamic spirals were composed of three long wires. Hanging from the horizontal section are six composite elements: at the top of each is a bird surmounting a horse bit, beneath which are rings and pairs of dagger blades. The numerous hoards containing such objects suggest that they functioned as ritual offerings deposited during burials.

The brooch is one of a group of eleven objects (seven other brooches and two bracelets) given to the museum by Josef and Brigitte Hatzenbuehler.
Lischka-Antiquitaeten, Regensburg (1968); Josef Hatzenbuehler, Germany and Houston (1968-2007)