Gilded silver spoons from the Hoxne hoard

Roman Britain, buried in the 5th century AD
Found at Hoxne, Suffolk (1992)

A matching set of spoons

The Hoxne (pronounced 'Hoxon') hoard is the richest find of treasure from Roman Britain. Alongside the approximately 15,000 coins were many other precious objects, buried for safety at a time when Britain was passing out of Roman control.

The most obvious matching set of tableware consists of nineteen spoons with gilded decoration. All are in very good condition. Eleven are long-handled spoons (cochlearia), six are the larger cigni with bird-head handles, and two are large transverse perforated spoons with handles in the form of dolphins.

The decoration is on a marine theme, with a sea-god, dolphins and mythological sea-creatures. This is a familiar aspect of Bacchic iconography, though many of the motifs also occur in Christian contexts.

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Gilded silver spoons from the Hoxne hoard

Gilded silver spoons


More information


C.M. Johns and R. Bland, 'The Hoxne late Roman treasure', Britannia, 25 (1994), pp. 165-73

R. Bland and C.M. Johns, The Hoxne Treasure, an illustr (London, The British Museum Press, 1993)


Length: 11.000 cm (cigni approx.)
Length: 11.000 cm (cigni approx.)
Length: 11.000 cm (cigni approx.)

Museum number

P&EE 1994 4-8 62-80



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