A Roman bronze crossbow brooch, c. 4th Century A.D.

A Roman bronze crossbow brooch, c. 4th Century A.D.

Code: 2414

Description: A bronze crossbow brooch with rounded terminals and long catchplate, a linear star-shaped design on the catchplate and a dark green-brown, almost black, patina. The pin and one terminal missing, the brooch bent where the arch joins the catchplate, some chips and corrosion, and with damage to the underside of the catchplate, but an inexpensive example.

Size: 51 mm/2 ins. in length

Culture: Roman

Date: c. 4th Century A.D.

Provenance: Ex Seward Kennedy Collection, Norland Place, London.

Background: Seward Kennedy (1925-2015) was a successful lawyer and passionate collector who over six decades, assembled a veritable cabinet of curiosities which filled his homes in London and New York City. This diverse collection included tribal, Indian, tantric, Chinese and Japanese items as well as contemporary art. In the 1950s-1960s he worked as a lawyer for the Mobil Corporation and travelled extensively in Egypt, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus. His strong interest in antiquities led him to assemble a fine collection of artefacts from a number of civilisations. Few items in the Seward Kennedy Collection are provenanced, as most were bought at a time when provenance was not regarded as particularly important. Also Kennedy was more concerned with their aesthetics, to him a fine modern knapped arrowhead was just as worthy of collection as a prehistoric piece.