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Roman swastika brooch

When this find turned up Lee Richardson was unsure if it was Roman or Anglo Saxon. I’d catalogue it as a Roman plate brooch, which will be 2nd-3rd century in date.

The brooch measures about 30mm across, the centre is lozenge-shaped and on each point is a roundel inset with a flower motif. Part of the central design is in the form of a swastika. Most of the original enamel has been lost from the central area but the flower-like motifs are mostly close to intact.

For many centuries a swastika was a symbol of good luck, hence its use on this brooch. Only when it was adopted by Adolph Hitler and the Nazis did it take on a more sinister meaning.

This is quite a rare broach but its overall state of preservation leaves something to be desired. Most of the original enamel has been lost and the bronze fabric is rough and pitted.


Over the years detectorists have dug up thousands of Roman brooches. Today some of them are so common that they are offered for sale at auction in groups. Lee’s find is a rare form but in its present condition a likely pre-sale auction estimate would be in the region of £30 to £50.

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