Silver tigress from the Hoxne hoard
Roman Britain, buried in the 5th century AD
Found at Hoxne, Suffolk (1992)
An animal handle
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.
This statuette of a prancing tigress was intended as one of a pair of handles for a large silver amphora or vase, though no other part of such an object was found in the hoard. Tigers and other large feline species were associated with Bacchus, and the amphora to which this tigress belonged would no doubt have had Bacchic decoration. The figure is a solid casting with stripes inlaid in niello to create a black contrast with the silver background.
T.W. Potter, Roman Britain, 2nd edition (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)
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)