- Museum number
Copper alloy harness phalera junction. In overall dimensions and form similar to 1814,0705.9-11, though a heavier casting with a slightly different front face profile. The decor, too, though it incorporates the same two basic motifs palmette and vine spray - is differently contrived. Thus, its symmetry is based not upon four occurrences of each motif but on a central vine leaf and two opposed palmettes, with a freer arrangement of the vine sprays occupying the greater part of the decorated zone. The apex of the design is a large vine leaf, from either side of which springs a tendril. Side shoots, with thin leaves and grape clusters - 8-fruit and 6-fruit bunches - sprout from the main tendrils before they encompass the palmettes. The tendrils continue, with further side shoots, leaves and grape clusters, and terminate either side of a small palmette. Little, if any, of the inlay has survived, and only traces of the silver overlay/tin-lead solder can be discerned. The central circular recess, slightly smaller than that of 1814,0705.9, retains the shank of a rivet. On the rear face were two single rings and a twin ring (Bishop's  Suspension type 6), but one of the single rings has broken off, and there is a repaired blow-hole immediately adjacent to the twin ring.
A cast phalera, with lightly convex back and shallow saucer-shaped front. Damage, corrosion and heavy, coarse cleaning have removed much detail, but the decorative scheme of the front is broadly intelligible.
- Production date
Diameter: 91 millimetres
Weight: 165 grammes
- Curator's comments
- Ribchester hoard
Roman Britain, late 1st or early 2nd century AD
From Ribchester, Lancashire
This hoard of military metalwork and other itens was found in 1796 by a clogmaker's son playing behind his father's house in the village of Ribchester. Ribchester was the site of a Roman fort, and the hoard seems to have been placed in storage in a wooden box, probably beneath a barrack block floor, in about AD 120. Until then the fort had been garrisoned by a cavalry regiment, the Ala II Asturum, and the hoard, possibly the belongings of a single soldier, consists mainly of cavalry equimpent.
Most striking is the two-piece vizor helmet, which was worn in cavalry sports events (hippika gymnasia), colourful displays in which both horse and rider were dressed in elaborate clothing and metal fittings.
The perforated bronze domes to the left of the helmet are a pair of horse eye-guards, and below them is a set of highly-decorated horse brass, including (to the right of the helmet) a mount with a bust of Minerva, goddess of war and wisdom. The broken discs in the centre foreground are the remains of military awards, while on the right are three bronze pans and a pottery mixing bowl (mortarium). The other objects include parts of two saddle plates and a boar's tusk amulet (good luck charm).
- On display (G49/dc8)
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number