The larger is Roman to Byzantine, late Imperial period, ca. 280 to mid 6th century CE; the smaller is Roman, Imperial Period, from the Danubian provinces, ca. 1st to 2nd century CE. A pair of beautiful, high-quality silver (90% silver) "crossbow" fibulae (brooches) used to fasten the cloaks of Roman soldiers and citizens. The larger (and more recently made) is cruciform, with round bosses on the terminals and a flat tailpiece. It is decorated with lines and dots, likely made using an awl. The smaller is t-shaped, with a simple, smooth surface. It still has its thick, silver pin on the back for fastening. Size of the larger: 1.75" W x 2.5" H (4.4 cm x 6.4 cm); 31.1 grams total weight
Brooches of the larger style were in vogue in the late Roman Empire, especially amongst elites; they are similar to those found in contemporary Baltic tribes during the early Migration period and probably represent a mixing of cultures during this volatile time period. Some of the known examples have overt Christian symbols, as the gold one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/466286) with its openwork cross on the tailpiece.
Provenance: private Davis collection, Houston, Texas, USA; [smaller] ex-Gerhard Hirsch Nachfolger Auction 286 - Objects (February 5-8, 2013, lot 598); ex-private Austrian collection
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Both have a rich, matte patina on the surface. Larger is missing its pin, but otherwise is in good condition. The smaller is in excellent condition.