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The 51/2in (14cm) long, finely worked fibula (brooch) ornamented with filigree work, cast with a warrior in combat with a lion and animal head terminals, is dated to circa the 3rd century BC.

Offered for sale at Christie’s on April 25 by a private collector, it had come from the collection of Thomas Flannery Jr. who purchased it in 1950.

New York dealers Ward & Company bought the fibula at Christie’s on behalf of the Museum. The total purchase price of £1,121,906 was paid with contributions of £577,157 from the Heritage Lottery Fund; £363,000 from British Museum funds (with a special contribution from British Museum Friends) and a further £178,808 from the National Art Collections Fund.