Collection online

The Mildenhall Bacchic plate

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The Mildenhall Bacchic plate
  • Description

    Silver plate, gently concave in profile, with beaded rim (64 beads in total) on a circular foot-ring. The upper surface is decorated in relief by a chased design of a dancing satyr in the left field with right arm raised and left arm outstretched. He casts his eyes towards a robed maenad in the right field holding a thyrsus in her right arm and a tambourine in her left. Between their feet are a pair of cymbals and in the lower field an animal skin with grapes and fruits and a pedum for transportation. In the lower left field is a syrinx, and above the heads of the figures a lidded vessel on a pedestal.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 4thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 185 millimetres
    • Height: 25.5 millimetres
    • Weight: 613 grammes
    • Diameter: 64 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 1946,1007.2.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 185 bibliographic details
    • Hobbs 2016 cat. 3 bibliographic details
    • R I B II.2, 2414.6, p. 32 bibliographic details
    • Hobbs & Jackson 2010 p. 151, fig. 121 bibliographic details
    • Roman Britain 1964 p. 40, pl. 7.11 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G49/dc22

  • Exhibition history

    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
    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 male and female figures dancing. Condition shots for 'Buried treasure' exhibition.

Silver dish; with male and female figures dancing. Condition shots for 'Buried treasure' exhibition.

Image description



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: BCB12875

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help