- Museum number
Silver mirror-disc, incomplete, and with damage and repair. Originally a mirror-plate, it was probably used as a cover for the skillet when the hoard was buried. The reflecting side of the mirror is slightly convex. On the back surface, there is a slight moulding at the rim, and two sets of concentric grooves. The handle is lost, but portions of it remain in the form of an attachment plate with deep diagonal grooves. This attachment originally had bird-head terminals, the form of which is preserved in slight corrosion and patination at one side.
The plate is badly cracked and blistered on the reflecting side, and there is a large, crude repair in the form of a roughly triangular piece of silver soldered to the concave, back, surface. This repair is probably of 19th-century date, carried out between the discovery of the hoard and its acquisition some 35 years later by the museum.
- Production date
Diameter: 131 millimetres
Weight: 177.20 grammes
Width: 116 millimetres (approx. width of handle-attachment)
- Curator's comments
- The history of this hoard is obscure. We know that it was found in 1811 or 1812, but not where it was found: the 'Backworth' provenance is approximate. The hoard was said to have included about 280 coins, but all but one of these, and probably other objects, were dispersed before The British Museum was able to acquire what was left of the treasure in 1850. The surviving coin is a denarius of Antoninus Pius (reigned AD 138-161) issued in AD 139.
The treasure was probably a votive deposit at a shrine of the Mother-goddesses near the eastern end of Hadrian's Wall.
- On display (G49/dc11)
- Exhibition history
2013 23 May - 15 Sep, Wallsend, Segedunum Roman Fort, Spotlight: The Backworth Hoard
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Found in 1811 or 1812, exact findspot unknown.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number