NCL-2B2752: NCL-2B2752: Roman horse brooch

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

Image use policy

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


Unique ID: NCL-2B2752

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A cast copper-alloy zoomorphic brooch of a horse dating to the Roman period, c. 100-300.

The brooch is largely complete, missing the backleg of the horse and the pin. The horse is presumably in a running pose, facing right. The mane at the top of the head has been bundled into a topknow, with the main growing in height off the back of the neck from the head to the shoulders, further elaborated by incised zigzag. Further decoration is seen on the head, with a punched crescent forming an eye and a small incised line forming the mouth. The jaw of the head is slightly raised from the neck, providing further definition of the head. The body of the horse is undecorated, except for the shoulder. The main body, between the front and back legs is D-shaped in section and thinner than the brooch at the shoulder and back flank. The tail is relatively short and may be twisted, suggested by the incised angled lines across the back of the tail. The shoulder has two raised lines running parallel from the main to the foreleg, but the purpose of this decoration/what it is depicting is uncertain. There is no other indication of harness, though the depiction of the groomed tail and main, plus topknot suggests that the horse has been depicted in a specific fashion - perhaps showing an Eastern or military style of grooming. Further, there is no evidence of a rider of the horse, nor are there any cells or enamel.

The reverse bears a hooked catchplate emerging out of the back of the shoulder, the hooked plate facing up, and a semi-circular lug with a circular perforation for a pin emerging out from the back of the backleg; the pin, however, is missing. There is very minor iron corrosion to either side of the lug. Abraded traces of filing are visible on the reverse.

The back leg has broken just below the body, but the break is very abraded.

Class: Zoomorphic (horse)

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 100
Date to: Circa AD 300

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 33.71 mm
Height: 26.07 mm
Thickness: 4.68 mm
Weight: 9.2 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Tuesday 7th May 2013 - Tuesday 4th June 2013

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Robert Collins
Identified by: Dr Robert Collins

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: North East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Whittington (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: NZ0071
Four figure Latitude: 55.03352214
Four figure longitude: -2.00153443
1:25K map: NZ0071
1:10K map: NZ07SW
Grid reference source: Generated from computer mapping software
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

Similar objects

Find number: LEIC-4E2603
Object type: BROOCH
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Copper alloy brooch of a horse, 38mm long and 28mm high, 2nd Century. The horse is flat and facing right, its missing its legs and tail. It ha…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: HAMP-851675
Object type: BROOCH
Broadperiod: ROMAN
An incomplete cast copper-alloy zoomorphic Roman plate brooch in the form of a horse in profile galloping to the right. The brooch is missing …
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Find number: LEIC-D732D3
Object type: BROOCH
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Roman copper alloy horse and rider brooch dating from the mid 2nd to late 3rd century. The horse is galloping to the right and has an open mou…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NCL
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 5 months ago

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