UNUSUAL DRAGONESQUE BROOCH

In her 9th April 2018 blog, Lauren Speed chose to highlight finds from Durham as part of the 15th year of PAS celebrations. One of the finds she chose was an unusual Roman Dragonesque-type brooch (DUR-6AD3ED).

Roman Dragonesque brooch
Roman Dragonesque brooch. Copyright Durham County Council CC license

The beautiful, enamelled plate brooch is an abstract zoomorphic form with turned-in heads at each end. Unfortunately, one of the very appealing heads is almost completely gone and the other has an old break on the nose. The brooch is coated in a polished black lacquer, variously inlaid with enamel decoration.
Dragonesque brooches are generally regarded as a hybrid art form, reflecting newer Roman influences of the 1st and 2nd centuries, but firmly rooted in the artistic traditions of the Iron Age. This is a particularly fine example, of uncommon decoration and design. The brooch was found in Co. Durham, by a regular detectorist, along the wider route of Dere Street, and in what may be regarded as the wider hinterland of Binchester Roman Fort.

Find out all about it at https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/835996