LON-B3AE96: Roman or Post Medieval copper alloy mount

Rights Holder: Museum of London
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Unique ID: LON-B3AE96

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

A probably Roman copper alloy mount dating AD43-410. The mount has been cast in the form of a fish or a dolphin with an elongated body which spirals around to form a ring. The tail flares out in a semi-circular shape and projects from the back of the ring. There is a rectangular socket projecting from the upper side edge of the ring. There are two fins which project each side of the head to form horizontal bars; the end of the one of the fins is broken and missing. The body of the fish is decorated with a scale-like pattern and there are flaring lines providing the detail on the tail. The fish has a broad, snub nose and the eyes are depicted by a ring and dot motif. On the underside of the head there is a circular, wedge-shaped lug or small stand which probably was in contact with another element.

Objects with similar depictions of fish or dolphins but slightly different forms are published on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database e.g. SWYOR-4D4182; LIN-5C2393 and LANCUM-F79885.

Ralph Jackson writes the style of the object is more Roman than Neoclassical and Hazel Forsyth added that she has not seen anything similar in the Post Medieval period. Jenny Hall suggests that it may have come from the side of a bowl and would have had some fitting attached through the rectangular slot, although she cannot find a parallel in the publications.

Dimensions: length: 58.43mm; width: 33.43mm; diameter: 27.93mm; weight: 39.08g.

Identification by Hazel Forsyth, Senior Post Medieval Curator, Museum of London.

Identifications by Ralph Jackson, Curator, Roman Collections, Department of Prehistory and Europe; The British Museum, Jenny Hall, Roman specialist and Hazel Forsyth, Senior Post Medieval Curator, Museum of London.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: ROMAN
Subperiod to: Late
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 43
Date to: Circa AD 410

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 58.43 mm
Width: 33.43 mm
Weight: 39.08 g
Diameter: 27.93 mm

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mrs Kate Sumnall
Identified by: Ralph Jackson
Secondary identifier: Mrs Jenny Hall

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Decoration style: Zoomorphic
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Essex (County)
District: Epping Forest (District)
Parish or ward: Buckhurst Hill (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TQ4293
Four figure Latitude: 51.61791918
Four figure longitude: 0.04967434
1:25K map: TQ4293
1:10K map: TQ49SW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Operations to a depth greater than 0.25m

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: LON
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 5 years ago

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