ESS-A9BFB4: Roman brooch

Rights Holder: Colchester Museums
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Unique ID: ESS-A9BFB4

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

Incomplete copper alloy zoomorphic Roman plate brooch. This brooch takes the form of a horse, perhaps more unusually without a rider and is semicircular in section, i.e. the back is flat and the front slightly domed. The body of the horse is decorated with a row of four sunken dots filled with traces of enamel. The dot nearest the rump now appears orangey yellow in colour, followed by a green dot, followed by another orangey yellow dot and finishing with a bright blue dot by the shoulder. Apart from the blue, these colours are faded and degraded. The neck of the horse is decorated with a series of incised ring and dots, and it is just possible to make out the separately moulded mane. The front leg of the animal is raised as if rearing up, and is truncated at the knee. The rear leg is in a normal standing position and also truncated at the knee. The tail is broken. The reverse of the brooch has two pin bar lugs, now broken, running horizontally along the reverse of the rump. The catchplate is broken and positioned to run parallel along the reverse of the front leg. The patina of the brooch is mid grey with flashes of cream. Some breaks are worn smooth, suggesting they occurred in antiquity, whilst some are rough and cream coloured, suggesting they occurred in the more recent past. The brooch is 25.42mm long from head to tail, 13.62mm high, 2.44mm thick and weighs 2.13g. An example of a horse brooch can be seen in Jackson, 1990, Camerton, number 116. Brooches of this type date to between the mid first to mid 2nd century.

Class: Zoomorphic

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 50
Date to: Circa AD 150

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 25.42 mm
Width: 13.62 mm
Thickness: 2.44 mm
Weight: 2.13 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Caroline McDonald
Identified by: Caroline McDonald

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Secondary material: Enamel
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Inlaid with enamel

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Essex (County)
District: Castle Point (District)
To be known as: Canvey Island

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Other chance find
Discovery circumstances: Part of a collection discovered over some 30 years
General landuse: Coastland
Specific landuse: Inter-tidal

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: ESS
Created: 14 years ago
Updated: 8 years ago

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