Roman Bronze Figural Padlock With Chain


A finely modelled Ancient Roman bronze padlock featuring a hinged lid in the shape of a male figure’s head. A fragmentary hinged chain with some original gilded visible is attached to the padlock through a lateral slot. Earthy encrustation and some patination covers the surface.

Date: Circa 1st - 2nd century AD
Provenance: Property of a North London gentleman; previously in a private collection formed in the 1990’s.
Condition: Fine condition, fragmented chain.


Figural padlocks, such as this beautiful example, are interesting items of Roman everyday life, displaying the great skills in working bronze of Roman craftsmanship. Padlocks of this type are believed to have originated from North-East Italy, and then spread to other areas such as Britannia and Germania. The moulded bronze male faces used to decorate figural padlocks were usually stereotyped, following the same features such as straight hair, usually combed straight down and worn in bangs.

Weight 57.9 g
Dimensions W 8.8 x H 4 cm



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