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The Mildenhall niello platter

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The Mildenhall niello platter
  • Description

    Silver platter with beaded rim (128 beads in total) on a high and wide vertical foot-ring. The central part of the vessel is slightly convex in profile, then steps up to a flat rim flange. The upper surface of the platter is mostly plain except for the central medallion and the flat 'inner' rim that are decorated with incised geometric designs inlaid with niello. The central medallion is decorated with rosetttes and quatrefoil motifs all enclosed within an anti-clockwise wave pattern. The 'inner' rim is decorated with 6 friezes divided by rosettes; each frieze is mirrored across the vessel and includes a variety of complex geometric motifs that include rosettes, lozenges and diamonds, all infilled with incised lines with curled terminals.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 4thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 556 millimetres
    • Diameter: 371 millimetres (foot-ring)
    • Weight: 5023 grammes
    • Height: 34 millimetres
    • Height: 13 millimetres (foot-ring)
  • Curator's comments

    This platter is not much smaller than the Great Dish, but its decoration belongs to a more restrained tradition, carried out simply in engraved lines filled with niello, silver sulphide which provides a black contrast to the silver.

    K.S. Painter, The Mildenhall Treasure (London, 1977)

  • Bibliography

    • Painter 1977a bibliographic details
    • Hobbs 2008 bibliographic details
    • Hobbs 2016 cat. 4 bibliographic details
    • Hobbs & Jackson 2010 p. 151, fig. 121 bibliographic details
    • Roman Britain 1964 p. 40 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

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Found while ploughing, 1942

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


COMPASS Title: Silver dish with niello decoration from the Mildenhall treasure


COMPASS Title: Silver dish with niello decoration from the Mildenhall treasure

Image description



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Object reference number: BCB12876

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