horse eye guard
- Museum number
Copper alloy horse eye guard fragment. Possible pair with 1814,0705.4. Only about one-third of the lightly-domed flange and wall survive, together with a small segment of the arcaded openwork of the lower dome. The openwork appears to have been cut from the outside. That 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. Above the carination the piercings are set on a square grid, carefully adapted to the contours. Grooved lines at the base of the dome and the edge of the flange. Two small circular fixing holes remain: one is blocked by corrosion; the other preserves an encircling groove. 8mm. in diameter, which marks the position of the rim of the rivet head which once occupied it. The fragment has, in the past, been joined to 1814,0705.5. Although the join cannot be verified it is quite likely that the two fragments are, in fact, from the same eye-guard.
- Production date
Diameter: 135 millimetres
Weight: 38.20 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