LANCUM-D19609: Disc brooch with silver applique 2016T242

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: LANCUM-D19609

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

Report on potential Treasure for HM Coroner

2016 T242Allithwaite, Cumbria. PAS database: LANCUM-D19609

Circumstances of discovery:

Found on 15th February 2016 whilst metal-detecting on cultivated land at a depth of 5 inches.


Copper alloy plate brooch with applied silver repousse decoration on its upper surface. The silver repousse disc is decorated with embossed decoration in the form of a triskele within a solid circular border. The triskele is composed of a central circle containing a rosette of six pellets around a central pellet, surrounded by three outer circles also containing rosettes. There is a pellet between each of the three arms of the triskele. The circular border of the design is within two concentric beaded borders, the outermost of which only partly survives.

There are two parallel lugs on the edge of the brooch on the reverse, for attachment of a pin, now lost.Opposite these is a cast catch-plate projecting downwards from the flat back of the brooch. The lower edge of the catch-plate may be missing.

Wt.: 11.93g; diameter 31.9mm, thickness of plate 2.4mm, maximum thickness 6.6mm.


Repousse plate brooches are known from Roman contexts and have been traditionally dated to the late first century AD (Bayley and Butcher 2004, 131 no. 373 type T249), in part due to the influence of Celtic art style on some brooches (Allason-Jones and Miket 1984, 118 no. 3148), although one such brooch occurs in a late third century context at Caerleon (Brewer 1986, 170 no. 9). Mackreth (2011, 155 repousse disc brooches type 1f ) follows this third century dating. These brooches also have some features in common with the "Adlocutio" brooch type dated to the second century AD. A brooch in the British Museum from Brough, Cumbria provides a parallel example of a Roman brooch with triskele decoration and beaded border, though without the pellet motif (1874,0328.95).

The brooch was analysed with non-destructive XRF (see attached report) to determine that the applique decoration was in fact silver. It is not possible to determine whether this layer constitutes more than 10% of the object, but given the thinness of the layer it would seem unlikely.


As an object made of predominantly base metal object dating and to the Roman period this object does not qualify as Treasure under the terms of the Treasure Act 1996.


Allason-Jones, L. and Miket, R. 1984. The catalogue of small finds from South Shields Roman fort. Newcastle Upon Tyne, Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Bayley, J. and Butcher, S. 2004. Roman Brooches in Britain: A Technological and Typological Study based on the Richborough Collection.

Brewer, R.J. 1986 The bronze brooches. In J.D. Zienkiewicz The legionary fortress baths at Caerleon, II. The finds, 165-172. Cardiff, National Museum of Wales and Cadw.

Mackreth, D.F. 2011. Brooches in Late Iron Age and Roman Britain. Oxford, Oxbow Books.

Dr Eleanor Ghey

Project Curator: Romano-British Collections,

Department of Britain, Europe & Prehistory,

The British Museum

24th January 2017

Report for the Coroner on the Scientific Analysis of

a Brooch with White Metal Applique, from the Allithwaite Area, Cumbria


(submitted via Portable Antiquities and Treasure)

Non-destructive X-ray fluorescence analysis of the surface of a brooch with white metal applique from the Allithwaite Area, Cumbria identified the metal as an alloy of copper with tin, lead and traces of zinc, iron, arsenic and antimony. Analysis of the surface of the applique identified it as 96-97% silver with tin, gold, copper, iron and lead. The brooch with applique weighs 11.97 grams.

Department of Scientific Research

The British Museum

File No. 7632-48 2016 T242

20th December 2016

Class: Plate

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Submitted for consideration as Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2016T242


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 43
Date to: Circa AD 200

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 1.5 mm
Weight: 11.93 g
Diameter: 31.3 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Tuesday 1st March 2016

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Dot Boughton
Identified by: Dr Dot Boughton

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2016T242

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Secondary material: Silver
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Multiple

Spatial metadata

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

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: LANCUM
Created: 3 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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