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Hounslow boar figurine

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Hounslow boar figurine
  • Description

    Copper alloy figurine of a boar. The back of the figure is arched and carries a row of spikes, of which the rearmost appears to have had the point broken off. It seems likely that this carried one end of an openwork crest, the other end of which had been attached to a backward pointing projection above the head of the figure. The tail is short and stumpy. The ears are large, turned forward and concave on the forward surface. The eyes and nostrils are indicated by punched holes, the mouth by a slit which is carried round either side of the muzzle. The snout is somewhat elongated and turned up at one end. On each foot is a rough stud-like projection which probably originally served to attach the figure to a copper alloy vessel or helmet.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 150 BC - 50BC (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 75.9 millimetres
    • Width: 23.9 millimetres (max)
    • Height: 39.6 millimetres
    • Weight: 105 grammes
  • Curator's comments

    Part of the Hounslow hoard or hoards, thought to have been found by labourers digging in a field near Hounslow around 1864. Both Bronze Age implements (1864,0501.1-7; 1864,0502.1-14) and Iron Age objects (1864,0501.8-11; 1864,0502.15-17) were recovered. However, these most likely represent two or more separate hoards. Franks (1865, 90) records that “The first account that I received of this discovery was, that all the antiquities had been found together, which puzzled me not a little, not only because of the different periods to which I perceived that they belonged, but also on account of the different state of the patina. I subsequently learned that the person from whom they were obtained meant that they were all found in the same place, that is, in the same field; but that the bronze implements and the animals were found in different parts of the field.”

    The Iron Age hoard consists of three boar figurines (1864,0501.8-9 and 1864,0502.17), and two other figurines which may represent other animals (1864,0501.10 and 1864,0502.16), perhaps dogs. The boars in particular may be the crests from sheet bronze helmets rather than free-standing figurines. Stylistically they are the earliest animal figurines found in Britain. The hoard also included a wheel-shaped ornament (1864,0501.11) and additional copper alloy fittings (1864,0502.15).

    A. W. Franks (1865). [Account of the additions made to the collections of British Antiquities at the British Museum during the year 1864]. In: ‘Thursday, 23rd March, 1865’. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London (Second Series), 3 , pp 83-94 (for the Hounslow hoards, see pages 90-92)


  • Bibliography

    • Franks 1865 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G50/dc9

  • Exhibition history


    1977 London, BM, Animals in Art

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    Part of collection of 11 objects purchased from Edward Hamblen for £2. Other objects from this hoard(s) were presented to the Museum by A.W.Franks.

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: BCB6300

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