A Romano-British bronze alloy brooch, designed into the shape of a horse. The animal is depicted with his head lowered, his forelegs bending to show his prostrate position. Incised linear markings along the back indicate the mane. The rest of the body is finely modelled, with a rounded lower torso to depict the muscular form of the horse. The tail has been curled, leaving a decorative hole at the rear. The reverse is flat with the original pin missing. Only some of the hinge remains.
Date: Circa 1st - 2nd century AD Condition: Excellent. Well polished with some discolouration on the metal.
Brooches modelled in the shape of animals have been vastly recovered across all the Roman Empire, including Roman Britain. The distribution of archaeological finds suggests that the major production centres for such ornamentation were Britain and Gaul. Horse brooches are amongst the more common of types found amongst the zoomorphic repertoire, although enamelled varieties seem more common. Their popularity could be the result of the horse being a status symbol amongst the Celtic population.
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