FAPJW-D8ABE4: Roman copper-alloy figurine of Cupid

Image use policy

Our images can be used under a CC BY attribution licence (unless stated otherwise).



Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A copper-alloy Roman figurine dating to the first to third centuries AD. The figurine is that of a naked Cupid in a flying pose. His features are well-rendered with eyes, nose, mouth and fingers clearly visible. Cupid's hair is shoulder length with curls framing his face. Ribbed and grooved decoration indicates the direction of individual strands of hair. A distinctive topknot of hair, comprising four small, spherical mouldings arranged in a square, decorates his forehead. His right arm is held upwards above his head. The hand of the right arm holds a jug. The left arm is close to the body and bent at the elbow. He holds an unidentified disc-shaped object in his hand, possibly a plate or patera. The figurine has small wings. Decoration is visible on the right wing, comprising three incised diagonal lines, representing feathers. The left leg is forward of the right leg suggesting movement. The left foot is missing as is a portion of the right calf and the whole foot on the right leg, the latter of which is hollow. The figurine measures 55mm in length and from arm to arm measures approximately 24mm in width. The body has a maximum thickness of 13mm (including wings). The figurine weighs 29.2 grams.

The Cupid is similar to examples from Kirby Thore (Green 1978, 62), Corbridge (Green 1978, 58) and Moresby (Green 1978, 65) as well as another example from the same deposit at Piercebridge (NCL-2C40A4). It suggests that this type of Venus figurine was particularly popular on the northern frontier. However, the other examples do not pair Cupid with the 'attributes' of jug and plate, making this figurine extremely unusual.


SF 356

Class: Cupid

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 90
Date to: Circa AD 300

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 55 mm
Width: 24 mm
Thickness: 13 mm
Weight: 29.2 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Philippa Walton
Identified by: Dr Philippa Walton

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: North East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Darlington (Unitary Authority)
District: Darlington (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Near Darlington

Spatial coordinates

Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Other chance find
Discovery circumstances: While diving in the River Tees

References cited

No references cited so far.

Similar objects

Find number: NCL-2C40A4
Object type: FIGURINE
Broadperiod: ROMAN
A copper-alloy Roman figurine dating to the first to third centuries AD. The figurine is that of a naked Cupid in a flying pose. His features…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: HAMP-C51B4D
Object type: FIGURINE
Broadperiod: ROMAN
A Romano-British cast copper alloy figurine, probably of Cupid, dating to the Roman period. The figurine, which is probably incomplete, depic…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: SUSS-591C64
Object type: FIGURINE
Broadperiod: ROMAN
An incomplete cast copper alloy figurine, possibly of Cupid, dating to the Roman period (c. 43-410 AD). The figurine has an elaborate hairst…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: FAPJW
Created: Wednesday 11th July 2012
Updated: Thursday 22nd September 2016

Other formats: this page is available as qrcode json xml geojson pdf rdf representations.