Diameter: 16.500 cm
Length: 15.000 cm (handle)
P&EE 1893 6-18 14
Room 49: Roman Britain
Bronze pan made by Boduogenus
Roman Britain, 2nd century AD
Found in Prickwillow, Isle of Ely, Cambridgeshire (1838)
This beautiful bronze vessel was made by a Celtic craftsman named Boduogenus. His name (which could be either Gaulish or British) appears on the handle in the form Boduogenus.f(ecit) ('Boduogenus made (it)').
The decoration features creatures from the sea, taken both from nature and myth, and a design of intertwining vine and ivy leaves. These all evoke the cult of the god Bacchus. The end of the handle is formed by two dolphins; their tails twist around each other, and they support a scallop-shell between them. Where the handle joins the bowl of the vessel, a cupid emerges from the waves of the sea between two ketoi, mythical sea-monsters.
Though we do not know whether this superb vessel was made in Gaul or Britain, it demonstrates Roman design and ornament of the highest standard being achieved by a provincial craftsman.
The handle decoration is cast and enhanced with copper and niello inlay and tin-plating, providing colour-contrasts of red, black and white against the bronze background.