Silver spoon (cochlear) with ovoid bowl. The circular-sectioned handle tapers to a pointed terminal; most of the handle is twisted. The offset is an openwork scroll with a slightly zoomorphic moulding; there is a small step where the handle begins. The bowl has a neatly cut inscription, probably originally filled with niello, which reads 'PAPITTEDO VIVAS'.
- Found/Acquired: West Row
- (Europe,United Kingdom,England,Suffolk,Mildenhall,West Row)
- Length: 186 millimetres
- Weight: 25.14 grammes
- Length: 134 millimetres (handle only)
- Length: 53.3 millimetres (bowl only)
- Width: 32.7 millimetres (bowl)
Inscription Positioninside bowl
Inscription ContentPAPITTEDO VIVAS
Inscription Translation'Papittedo, long life to you'
Inscription CommentV and A ligatured
Silver spoons from the Mildenhall treasure
Roman Britain, 4th century AD
Found in Mildenhall, Suffolk
The eight spoons in the Mildenhall treasure represent examples from at least three, perhaps four, sets. It seems fair to assume that the owner of such an outstanding piece of silver plate as the Great Dish would have had a large number of spoons, most of which were not hidden in this particular cache.
Three spoons have foliate decoration which matches that on the large fluted bowl. Another three bear the only overt Christian symbols in the hoard, the Greek letters chi and rho, the first letters of Christ's name, flanked by alpha and omega (the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, another symbol of Christ - 'I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last' (Revelation 1:8)). The remaining two spoons have personal names (Papittedo and Pascentia) with the word vivas ('may you live'), a good-luck formula frequently used in late-Roman times, often by Christians.
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
1996 30 Mar-13 Nov, Italy, Rimini, Sala dell’Arengo, Dalla Terra Alle Genti
Found while ploughing, 1942
Britain, Europe and Prehistory
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Object reference number: BCB12900
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