31 sf. 197 Iron. What survives is a long piece with a spring arrangement at one end. This is bilateral of four coils and the signs are that the chord lies the plane of the shank.
As such, the item should be part of a brooch of La Tène I or II type. The lack of an arc in the profile of the shank suggests that it cannot have been an early or middle La Tène I type, but it is more than probable that the bow has become distorted. The date would, in any case, be before 100 B.C.
The next seven brooches all had four-coil bilateral springs, the first
two with external chords, the remainder with internal ones.
32 sf. 336 The bow is thin and narrow with a groove down each side of the front face. The catch-plate had been framed and, on the right-hand side, another groove ran from the top corner of the piercing as far as a triple moulding, whose central element is wider than the others, across the front of the bow. The intention was to suggest the return of the foot to the collar of a La Tène II brooch.
33 sf. 223 In very poor condition with little of the original surface left, the chord of the spring had clearly been external and there is just enough present to show that there had been some kind of moulding on the bow like that on the last. Not enough is left of the catch-plate to tell whether that had been framed or not.
Both of these belong to a type discussed by Ian Stead (1976) when dealing
with the Aylesford-Swarling culture, and the brooch types associated
with that. In the present instances the chief characteristics are the
thin bows, their length, when the catch-plates are complete, and the
mouldings on the upper bow. Both of these have external chords and this
determines their date. Both are definitely 1st century B.C. and have
the slight shoulders, for the chord of the spring to butt against, to
be expected on the earliest form. The later forms develop exaggerated
trumpet heads completely hiding the spring from view and this is the
form found in the King Harry Lane cemetery (Stead and Rigby 1989, Phase
1, G270.4; Phase 3, G124.4). Comments on the dating of the phases there,
after Brooch 6, should make it clear that the present forms, even without
external chords are fully 1st century B.C. The external chord is in
effect a hang-over from the earlier La Tène I and II form in
which the chord has moved from the position of that on Brooch 31. The
date by which the external chord passes from use is not well fixed as
it happened at a time when dating is vague. The Nauheim, which is a
type brooch of the 1st century B.C. is also found with external chords,
although the internal chord is one of the defining features of the type.
The date of the earliest Nauheims is somewhere around the late 2nd century
B.C. and the earliest 1st (Feugère 1985, 224-5), therefore, allowing
for a certain overlap in manufacture and use in brooches using the external
chord, the present examples should be earlier than 100 B.C. but may
have survived in use to 75.
This brooch is not demonstrably a Nauheim, the necessary framed catch-plate is missing. However, the design of the bow is similar to a Nauheim and the restoration of a long catch-plate such as would be found on the type would make this piece the appropriate size, but the profile may be held to be wrong. In short, if this is not a Nauheim, it is closely related. In that sense it may fall into the same class as a brooch from Fox Holes Farm which, bearing in mind the overall date of the Iron Age material, including the brooches, found with it (Partridge 1989,129,132, fig.76,5), this brooch could be as early as 50/25 B.C., but equally could run on to near the conquest in the 1st century A.D. It is unlikely to be later, as the design of the bow is excessively rare in undoubted deposits producing the generally emasculated versions of Nauheim/"Drahtfibel" origin dating 50-100.
35 sf. 59 Iron. The bow is like a piece of wire and may have had a recurve in its profile. The remains of the catch-plate are not enough to show whether or not it had been pierced.
36 sf. 340 Very like the last, but complete apart from half the pin, here the catch-plate is solid. The square section of the spring shows that the brooch had been forged, not cast.
37 sf. 225 Iron. In poor condition, the lower bow and catch-plate are lost. The bow, however, was obviously more like a piece of rod than a thin rectangle in section.
38 sf. 129 Complete apart from the pin, the bow has a rounded section and the solid catch-plate has rockerarm ornament along the junction of the bow and across the top.
These four brooches derive from the Drahtfibel which has, as
the name suggests, a rod-like bow not always significantly thicker than
the wire forming the spring. None is actually an example of that type,
that having a framed catch-plate and is contemporary with the Nauheim
itself. The difficulty is that brooches such as these are very difficult
to date when there is not decoration, Brooch 38 excepted. The use of
iron for Brooches 35 and 37 is a virtual guarantee that they are pre-conquest,
but no more refined dating can be offered. The three coils of Brooch
37 are of interest. Three-coil brooches of the overall family are commonest
in the deeper parts of the South East. However, iron ones are more widespread
and the dated ones lie in the peripheral zone: Puckeridge, 25-Claudian
(Partridge 1979, 35, fig.6,3), pre-conquest (Partridge 1981, 132, fig.66,3);
Maiden Castle, 25-50 (Wheeler 1943, 252, fig.85,34). Brooch 36, in copper
alloy, has a profile which should be pre-conquest: brooches of this
family had assumed the generally slack appearance which most display
by the conquest. As for Brooch 38, the bow is much thicker than would
normally be warranted on a Drahtfibel and the decoration on the
catch-plate is very reminiscent of the way in which the same kind is
applied on Brooch 11 and the same kind of date may apply here.
Obviously a Rosette, the chief indicators of its date lie in the separately made disc and the use of a recognisably Colchester-style spring system without a trace of a separately-made sheet cover. By the end of the 1st century B.C., the usual spring-case forged from the head of the upper bow had developed and, although the general form of the brooch appeared very much as it does here, the brooch was cast as a straight item with a disc in the middle, the whole forged into its finished shape, a separate plate being fitted under the disc to form the prominent plate familiar on the type. The present brooch is therefore two stages before this, as the cast-in disc appears before the Colchester spring system becomes modified. A view of the earliest kinds of Rosette in the King Harry Lane cemetery puts these developments in their proper context (see after Brooch 6 for comments on the dating of the cemetery). Very few were found with separately made plates fitted under the disc, none with cast-in discs alone with stamped decoration, and none with an integral spring as here. the early Rosettes in the cemetery were well represented in Phase 1 showing that by the end of the 1st century B.C. those like the present specimen, as well as the intermediate stages, had passed completely out of use. The dating of the earliest Rosettes is not yet well fixed and much depends on arguments based on the representation of such brooches on coins (Allen 1972), but Brooch 39 probably falls between 50 and 25 B.C.