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 Museum Explorer

Dress and ornament
in Roman Britain

Jet pendant

Width: 5.500 cm

P&EE 1852.6-26.1

Jet pendant

From: Colchester, Essex
Date: 2nd-4th centuries AD

This oval carving was once a pendant and would have been hung from a ribbon or cord around a person's neck. The two winged boys are cupids, sons of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Roman artists often showed cupids taking part in everyday tasks. It is difficult to be certain exactly what they are doing here. One theory is that they are making a pot on a potter's wheel.

The pendant is made of jet, a black stone that has been found on the Yorkshire coast for centuries. It was very popular for jewellery-making in Roman Britain.