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 Museum Explorer

Birds and beasts in Roman Britain

Silver tigress

Length: 15.900 cm

P&EE 1994 4-8 30

Silver tigress

From: the Hoxne Hoard, Suffolk (1992)
Date: buried in the 5th century AD

The Hoxne Hoard is the richest find of treasure from Roman Britain. This prancing female tiger was once a handle on a large amphora, or vase. She was one of two tigress handles, one on either side.

Tigers were often shown with Bacchus, the god of wine, so the amphora was probably decorated with pictures of Bacchus. Wine might have been kept in it.

If you look closely you can see that the tiger's stripes have been filled with a black substance called niello to make them look darker.