Silver handle of spoon in form of dolphin, or two dolphins overlapping. The attachment for the spoon is crescentic and narrows at each end, both of which are in the form of a stylised bird's head. The handle itself is in the form of a dolphin with a tripartite fin on top; the head has heavily indented eye sockets. The lower half of the dolphin runs into another 'head' with a deep eye socket on each side, topped with a single fin, perhaps intended to represent a second dolphin. The handle ends in a tripartite moulding to represent the tail. Belongs with bowl 1946,1007.18.
- Found/Acquired: West Row
- (Europe,United Kingdom,England,Suffolk,Mildenhall,West Row)
- Length: 99.7 millimetres
- Weight: 35.68 grammes
- Width: 47.9 millimetres (handle attachment)
- Width: 21.2 millimetres (tail)
Silver ladles from the Mildenhall treasure
Roman Britain, 4th century AD
Found in Mildenhall, Suffolk
Deep, round-bowled spoons or ladles like this have been found in many late-Roman silver hoards. The decorative dolphin handles of these examples are gilded and originally had inlays, probably of glass, in their eyes. They resemble some of the dolphins depicted in the Hoxne treasure.
The solder which originally attached the handles to the bowls has decayed during the time spent buried in the ground; it is now difficult to tell which handle belongs to which bowl.
On display: G49/dc22
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
Found while ploughing, 1942
Britain, Europe and Prehistory
If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Object reference number: BCB12897
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.
The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.