- Museum number
Copper alloy horse eye guard. The greater part of the upper dome survives, but only about one-third of the side and one-quarter of the flange. The flange is narrow and markedly domed with a simply cut rim. A single empty fastening perforation remains, probably one of six, as on no. 1814.0507.2. The openwork of the lower dome has an arcaded appearance, with a row of rectangular piercings surmounted successively by single rows of circular, peltate and triangular piercings, but the gap between the rectangular and circular piercings is breached. The carination is marked by a slender band with shallow groove. Above, as on 1814.0705.3, the openwork is arranged on a square grid and is similarly accommodated by rhomboid and triangular piercings at the carination. The centre of the grid in this case is set at the intersection of the bars, where a lathe centre-point is visible. Not a matching pair with 1814.0705.3, but possibly used as its partner.
- Production date
Diameter: 135 millimetres
Height: 73 millimetres
Weight: 114.90 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)
- Exhibition history
2003 26 Apr-24 Aug, USA, Lexington, Kentucky Horse Park, All the Queen’s Horses
1979 Feb-Apr, Munich, Prahistoriche Staatsamlung Museum, Roman Cavalry Helmets
1978-1979 Dec-Feb, Nuremburg, Germanisches National Museum, Roman Cavalry Helmets
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number