ESS-30D142: Roman copper-alloy vessel mount

Rights Holder: Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service
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Unique ID: ESS-30D142

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

Fragment of a cast copper-alloy anthropomorphic vessel handle. The remaining portion of the handle takes the form of a circular human head above which is a thinned shaft that would have originally curved upward and outward to form a larger handle. Much of the handle is now missing, and the thinned section comes to a point where a breakage in the handle shaft occurred.

The back of the face portion of the handle is flat, giving a semi-circular or 'D' shaped cross-section. The shaft portion is cylindrical.

The features on the front of the handle depict a human face, incorporating two engraved eyes, a moulded nose and two diagonal lines at either side of the face which likely depict the edge of a helmet. The decorative engraving continues above the face and up onto the shaft where a stylised helmet is depicted. Directly above the nose there is a transverse line differentiating face from helmet. Above this there are the faint remains of a raised ridge formed from short diagonal lines. The band is curved and probably represents the hairline under a helmet. Above this band there is a curved crescent line engraved out of which rises a straight engraved line in the centre of the handle shaft. This is a continuation of the depiction of the helmet.

Given the stylistic details of the item, it is likely that the handle is a representation of Minerva wearing a Corinthian helmet.

Dimensions: weight: 10.2g, length: 33.9mm, width: 15.4mm, thickness: 7.0mm

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Period to: ROMAN

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 33.9 mm
Width: 15.4 mm
Thickness: 7 mm
Weight: 10.2 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Sophie Flynn
Identified by: Ms Sophie Flynn

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Suffolk (County)
District: Suffolk Coastal (District)
Parish or ward: Badingham (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TM3166
Four figure Latitude: 52.24367313
Four figure longitude: 1.38223934
1:25K map: TM3166
1:10K map: TM36NW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Audit data

Recording Institution: ESS
Created: 10 months ago
Updated: 4 months ago

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