DEV-47B889: Roman brooch

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

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Unique ID: DEV-47B889

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

An incomplete cast copper alloy brooch dating to the Roman period (AD 90-150).

An example of a hinged initial T shape brooch, comprising the wings and bow. The wings are cylindrical in shape, and retain a circular cross section to their terminals. The cylindrical hinge lies at the central point of the wings, in a rectangular slot. The bow is flattened in cross section, and in plan widens to accommodate its decoration before tapering gently to the foot. It rises steeply from the bow, before sloping downwards whilst tapering in width. The bow ends with a rectangular terminal which extends upwards from the bow and is flattened on its underside.The underside of the bow is smooth and undecorated, with a damaged trapezoidal catchplate.

The wings are decorated with incised lines laid out in two bands of decoration around each terminal, with the vertical bands filled with horizontal angled dashes sloping downwards. The effect is of a feather or series of downward pointing arrows created across the two bands. There are two further downward sloping diagonal incised lines which run from the centre and base of the bow to these outer bands of decoration. The bow itself has a further incised decorative scheme, with a triangular design containing a circle laid out on the upper part of the bow, drawing the eye to the central enamelled decoration. The same effect continues on the lower part of the bow, where two tapering bands run vertically down its length, with the same downward pointing diagonal lines as on the wings filling in the bands. Both these incised decorations serve to highlight and contextualise the central enamelled decoration, which consists of two annulets, which would once have been filled with enamel, and two spandrels which lie between them. The spandrels were once filled with red enamel, but the colour of the annulet filling does not survive.

Bayley and Butcher (2004: 127) no. 131 presents a similar example which they date to the late first century. That example demonstrates the same pattern of downward pointing diagonal lines across the bow, and also the determinedly cylindrical shape of the wings. However, Bayley and Butcher also state (ibid: 159) that initial T shaped brooches do not usually have enamelled decoration, which suggests that this is a later example possibly transitioning towards a more developed form.

It is 41.4mm in length and 37.1mm wide. The bow is 4.5mm thick. It weighs 12.6g.

Class: T shaped
Sub class: Hinged initial (south western)

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 90
Date to: Circa AD 150

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 41.4 mm
Width: 37.1 mm
Thickness: 4.5 mm
Weight: 12.6 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Thursday 25th October 2018

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Lucy Shipley
Identified by: Dr Lucy Shipley

Other reference numbers

Other reference: SCC Receipt 018254

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

County or Unitary authority: Devon (County)
District: Mid Devon (District)
Parish or ward: Sampford Peverell (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: ST0213
Four figure Latitude: 50.90812276
Four figure longitude: -3.39522351
1:25K map: ST0213
1:10K map: ST01SW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

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

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: DEV
Created: About one month ago
Updated: About one month ago

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