Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Silver spoon (cochlear), one of a set of ten spoons (1994,0408.81-90) with ownership inscriptions of Aurelius Ursicinus. The spoon has a pear-shaped bowl, a closed C-scroll offset, and a plain, slightly chamfered handle with the inscription AVRVRSICINI neatly incised along the upper surface at the bowl end. The inscription is inlaid with niello. Within the bowl, the letters alpha and omega flanking a chi-rho monogram are inscribed in a dotted or punched technique.


  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 210 millimetres
    • Length: 69 millimetres (bowl)
    • Width: 29 millimetres (bowl)
    • Weight: 23.8 grammes
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        sacred monogram
      • Inscription Position

        within bowl
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

        Chi-Rho, alpha and omega
      • Inscription Comment

        Probably a secondary inscription
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

        upper surface of handle at bowl end
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Translation

        (property of) Aurelius Ursicinus
  • Curator's comments

    The Aurelius Ursicinus spoons from the Hoxne hoard

    Roman Britain, buried in the 5th century AD
    Found at Hoxne, Suffolk (1992)

    The Hoxne (pronounced 'Hoxon') hoard is the richest find of treasure from Roman Britain. Alongside the approximately 15,000 coins were many other precious objects, buried for safety at a time when Britain was passing out of Roman control. They include by far the largest collection of spoons in any late Roman hoard.

    This set of spoons comprises five of each principal type. It may not be complete. The inscriptions within the bowls of the cigni and on the handles of the cochlearia are neatly engraved and enhanced with an inlay of niello. They are marks of ownership, and give the name Aurelius Ursicinus. Although the ten inscriptions are the largest number with one name in the hoard, we cannot assume that this individual owned the whole treasure, as several other names also occur. Unfortunately, Aurelius Ursicinus cannot be identified with any historically recorded person.


  • Bibliography

    • Bland & Johns 1993 bibliographic details
    • Johns 2010 90 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G49/dc23

  • Exhibition history

    1994-1995 Oct-Jan, Ipswich Museum, The Hoxne Treasure

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • T304 (Treasure number)
COMPASS Title: The Aurelius Ursicinus spoons from the Hoxne hoard


COMPASS Title: The Aurelius Ursicinus spoons from the Hoxne hoard

Image description



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Object reference number: BCB90889

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