- Museum number
Copper alloy harness pendant. A large horseshoe-shaped pendant belonging to junction phalera 1814,0705.7. Originally highly ornamented, the flat body retains several patches of a silver-coloured deposit, of tin or tin-lead solder, on its front face. The perimeter was embellished with eight evenly-spaced circular projections on either side of the suspension loop. The two surviving examples are of the same form as the phalera projections but are smaller and unperforated. The pendant terminals are broken across a horizontal channelled moulding. The suspension loop has a circular eye and is of the same form as the bow of the fragmentary junction loop. Its incuse herring-bone decoration incorporates at least one fragment of black niello inlay, presumably similar in composition to that identified on 1814,0705.7 and 1814,0705.35. On the inner edge of the pendant, below the suspension loop, is the torn base of another simpler circular loop (orig. c. 8 mm internal diam.), which may once have held a small secondary pendant. Cleaning of the corroded plain back has revealed a number of casting blemishes.
- Production date
Height: 69 millimetres
Weight: 52.70 grammes
Width: 77 millimetres
- 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).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2003 26 Apr-24 Aug, USA, Lexington, Kentucky Horse Park, All the Queen’s Horses
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number