This fibula (pin), used for closing or securing garments, is a masterpiece of ancient gold-working. Tiny animals and figures, mythical and real, cover the pin. They were formed using tiny beads of gold (a process called granulation) fashioned in a fluid, curving style reminiscent of pottery of the seventh century BCE, when the Etruscans reached the height of their technical virtuosity in granulation. In the center of the decoration is a figure common in Etruscan art: the ‘master of the beasts,’ a winged man with two faces. The figure originated in the Near East and became especially prominent in Etruscan art during this period. 7th century BCE
Providence, Rhode Island
Rhode Island School of Design Museum; Etruscan; jewelry; Mythology; animals; gold; granulation; Master of the Beasts
Metal and Jewelry Arts
RISD Museum; Bally, Boris; and Migliori, Jonathan, "Pin (Fibula)" (2012). Channel. 11.