PAS-A7DC11: Roman silver bracelet with intaglio

Image use policy

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


Unique ID: PAS-A7DC11

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A Roman silver bracelet, now broken in two, with a twisted hoop and hinged bezel.

The distorted elliptical hoop comprises a fine and evenly-twisted, tightly-spiralled tube made from circular-sectioned silver wire. Quite heavy wear is visible on both sides of the hoop. What appears to be the central core, around which the wire was spiralled, is visible under magnification in those places where distortion has slightly 'opened' the twisted strands, but its composition is uncertain. Each terminal is enclosed in a tubular collar which is decorated with an applied central meander filigree wire flanked by a double-ring edge-moulding. The rectangular opening in their broken end once secured the hinged ends of the now separate bezel. There is recent damage to the side of the hoop and to the side of one terminal. Further damage to the terminals and the distortion of the hoop may be ancient.

The large circular bezel, a hollow box construction of silver sheet, has a plain back and sides. Its ornate upper face comprises an outer basal zone of herringbone pattern, formed from three concentric circles of twisted wire, and a central raised open dome with ribbed side and stepped, apparently rubbed-over, setting. The oval gem, seemingly of translucent orange-red colour, has dropped out of position to the base of the box-setting, presumably as a result of the deterioration and loss of an original organic packing. Engraved into its lightly convex surface is the image of a seated Jupiter, with wreath and full-length drapery, holding a sceptre in his left hand. In his extended right hand he holds a patera above a stylised flaming altar.

The bezel was fastened to the hoop by means of a pair of silver strips soldered to the back of the bezel. Their rolled terminals form a pair of lugs at either side of the bezel. One pair, which acted as a hinge, retains a fixed axis bar at the centre of which is the remains of a simple looped hinge-tag, the other end of which was originally fixed (probably soldered) into one of the hoop terminals. The other pair of lugs, now empty, would have held some form of removable locking pin which passed through the lugs and a central loop projecting from the other hoop terminal. The back plate of the bezel and the rim of the setting have both suffered recent damage.

For gold examples of this type of hinged-bezel bracelet see, e.g., F.H. Marshall, Catalogue of the Jewellery, Greek, Etruscan and Roman, in the Departments of Antiquities, British Museum (Trustees of the British Museum, London, 1911; reprinted 1969), nos. 2813 - 2815; and for a silvered bronze variant form see K. Sas and H. Thoen (eds), Schone Schijn/ Brillance et Prestige: Romeinse juweelkunst in West-Europa/ La joaillerieromaine en Europe occidentale, (Peeters, Leuven, 2002), no. 136.

The gemstone's engraved image is similar to that on a carnelian intaglio from Chesterholm/ Vindolanda (Henig 1978, no. 355).

Date: 2nd - 3rd cent AD.

Dimensions: hoop (distorted) 80 x 61 mm; hinged bezel L. 36.4 mm, Diam. 26.8 mm.

Weight: hoop 41.7 g; bezel and gem 16.5 g.

Ralph Jackson
Dept. of Prehistory & Europe
British Museum
28th February 2013

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Class: hinged bezel

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2012T627


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 100
Date from certainty: Certain
Date to: Circa AD 300
Date to certainty: Certain

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 80 mm
Width: 61 mm
Weight: 58.2 g
Diameter: 26.8 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Thursday 26th July 2012

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Lucy Ellis
Identified by: Ralph Jackson

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2012T627

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Secondary material: Gem
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: North West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Cumbria (County)
District: South Lakeland (District)
To be known as: Dalton Area

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

Similar objects

Find number: SOMDOR-6AD9D3
Object type: FINGER RING
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Treasure case 2004 T19: Disclaimed A gold finger ring with thin rectangular section hoop, somewhat distorted but complete. The hoop is sol…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Find number: NARC-3F54A5
Object type: FINGER RING
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Report: A Roman gold finger-ring with gem-set box bezel. The broad strap-like hoop, now partly crushed, is constructed from a central plai…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Find number: ESS-E4B890
Object type: JEWELLERY
Broadperiod: ROMAN
TREASURE CASE 2011 T513: Roman Pendant A tiny gem-set gold mount in the form of a miniature amphora, probably the bezel from a finger-ring…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Timeline of associated dates

Report a mistake

Comment on this artefact's record

Your comment will be checked before being posted. We also check for spam using akismet.

Enter your comments:

* This will not be displayed to the public.

* Not compulsory

The following HTML tags can be used - a,p,ul,li,em,strong,br,img,a - and paragraphs will be automatically created

Audit data

Recording Institution: PAS
Created: Monday 8th July 2013
Updated: Monday 18th August 2014

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