David Collins (Beverly Hills, California), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978.
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Not on view due to temporary Getty closure
Italy (Place Created)
Bronze and amber
9 × 6 × 4 cm (3 9/16 × 2 3/8 × 1 9/16 in.)
Gift of David Collins
This leech-shaped fibula (fibula a sanguisuga) is cast in bronze and has both incised and inlaid decoration. Six zones of fine concentric incisions are framed by punched dots around the circumference of the bow. There are five rectangular openings along the spine of the bow; on each side, a series of three rectangles framed by a small circular opening at either end for inlays of amber, five of which are intact. Large leech fibulae ornamented with amber, ivory, bone, gold, and glass were valuable and highly visible markers of female status. Perforated segments of amber were usually assembled to form a thick bow. Some leech and boat-shaped fibulae, however, were embellished with pieces of amber set into the bronze surface