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The Mildenhall Bacchic plate

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The Mildenhall Bacchic plate
  • Description

    Silver plate with beaded rim (with 65 beads) and foot-ring. On the upper surface are raised figures of Pan in the left field, holding a pedum in his right hand and playing a syrinx held in his left; in the right field is a dancing maenad playing a double aulos. At the top of the field is a reclining water nymph, with right arm arched above her head and left leaning on a water container with water flowing from its neck. At the bottom of the field is a fawn and snake, between the main figures a typanum tambourine, and in the left field a lidded bowl on a pedestal.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 4thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 188 millimetres
    • Height: 25.5 millimetres
    • Weight: 539 grammes
    • Diameter: 62 millimetres (foot-ring)
    • Height: 10 millimetres (foot-ring)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

        on base inside foot-ring
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Transliteration

      • Inscription Translation

        (Property) of Eutherios
  • Curator's comments

    Similar in style to 1946,1007.1.One of a pair of small dishes or platters with Bacchic scenes which are closely related in style and subject to the Great Dish itself. The Greek name Eutherios is scratched lightly on the underside of the dish within the footring. It is written in the genitive (possessive) case, which suggests that he was once the owner of the plate.Blurton 1997
    This is one of a pair of small decorated dishes belonging to a large hoard of late-Roman silver vessels, hidden for safe-keeping at a time of trouble during the fourth century AD and unearthed in the 1940s. Silver tableware was owned and used by wealthy people in the Roman world, and was frequently very richly ornamented. Religious and mythological themes, especially relating to the cult of Bacchus, the god of wine, were typical subjects for the decoration. This group of rich silverware is decorated with traditional, classical themes, but there are also some references to Christianity, in the form of the chi-rho monogram, in the treasure. Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire in 324 AD.


  • Bibliography

    • Painter 1977a bibliographic details
    • Hobbs 2008 bibliographic details
    • Blurton 1997 184 bibliographic details
    • Hobbs 2016 cat. 2 bibliographic details
    • R I B II.2. 2414.5, p. 32 bibliographic details
    • Hobbs & Jackson 2010 p. 151, fig. 121 bibliographic details
    • Roman Britain 1964 p. 40, pl. 7.10 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G49/dc22

  • Exhibition history

    2013 14 Sep - 2014 24 Feb, Norwich, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia
    2005-2006 25 Jul-13 Jan, Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past
    2005 12 Feb-26 Jun, Newcastle, Hancock Museum, Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past
    2004-2005 1 Oct-15 Jan, Manchester Museum, Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past
    2004 30 Apr-21 Sep, Cardiff, National Museums & Galleries of Wales, Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past
    2003-2004 21 Nov-14 Mar, London, BM, Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past
    2000-2001 Dec-Apr, Rome, Palazzo delle Esposizione, Aurea Roma
    1998 9 Feb-3 May, India, Mumbai, Sir Caswasjee Jahangir Hall, The Enduring Image
    1997 13 Oct-1998 5 Jan, India, New Delhi, National Museum, The Enduring Image

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Found while ploughing, 1942

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


Silver dish; with figures of Pan, nymph and other mythological characters, all in relief; ring foot on underside. Condition shots for 'Buried treasure' exhibition.

Silver dish; with figures of Pan, nymph and other mythological characters, all in relief; ring foot on underside. Condition shots for 'Buried treasure' exhibition.

Image description



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Object reference number: BCB12874

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