WILT-D86D36: Roman plate brooch

Rights Holder: Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum
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Unique ID: WILT-D86D36

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

Incomplete Roman copper alloy and enamel zoomorphic plate brooch missing its (iron) pin, enamel and tip of the tail. It measures 33.36x26.10x2.85mm (thickness excluding catchplate, etc) and weighs 6.54g. The brooch is in the form of a mythical creature with a horse's head and neck and the body of an ?eel or fish (a half-horse, half-fish is better known as a hippocamp). The body is roughly S-shaped, with an elongated and horizontal bottom part. The entire body has a recess for enamel, no trace of which remains. Towards the tail is chainloop, a D-shaped projection with 1.11mm diameter piercing. At the front of the body is a horizontal limb with tiny squarish foot, projecting at 90° downwards. The uppermost curve of the S has a thickened edge for the neck and mane, which has tiny transverse incised lines to depict hair. The head itself is very small compared to the body. It is diamond-shaped, with emphasised rounded points for the brow and cheek and quite a long nose. A 2.36mm diameter recess would have been filled with enamel for the eye. The ear is large compared to the head and projects directly upwards in an inverted U-shape. To the reverse of the brooch is a damaged catchplate (missing its curl) and a pair of worn lugs (broken across the holes for the axis bar), surrounded by iron staining. Zoomorphic enamelled brooches date from the 2nd century to the end of the Roman period (Horse-and-Rider brooches). It is likely they may have had a votive origin. The large enamel cell may have had a complicated enamel arrangement - more advanced enamelling techniques consisting of spots within a large enamel field are known on zoomorphic brooches (Bayley and Butcher, 2004, p.175). This was developed on the continent in the first half of the second century, and it is likely this brooch has an earlier rather than later date, c.100-300 AD.

Class: Plate
Sub class: zoomorphic


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Date from: AD 100
Date to: AD 300

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 33.36 mm
Width: 26.1 mm
Thickness: 2.85 mm
Weight: 6.54 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Friday 1st May 2009

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Katie Hinds
Identified by: Ms Katie Hinds

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Inlaid with enamel

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Calne Without (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: ST9767
Four figure Latitude: 51.40202151
Four figure longitude: -2.04451457
1:25K map: ST9767
1:10K map: ST96NE
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WILT
Created: 10 years ago
Updated: 8 years ago

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