Large Brooch

European Bronze Age

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.

Large Brooch, Copper alloy, European Bronze Age

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