Roman Bronze Openwork Harness Mount


A complete Ancient Roman cast bronze military horse harness mount, known in Latin as phalera, featuring a circular shape, and a central openwork panel of curvilinear design, reminiscent of Celtic La Tène style. The pattern is centred around a small central disc and is framed within a thick outer border.

Date: Late 1st-3rd century AD
Condition: Extremely fine, complete and intact with nice green patina.

In stock

SKU: FP-214 Category: Tag:

The phalera was a decorative disc, used either to adorn the breastplate of soldiers or the harness of horses. Such mounts were often impressively embellished, serving as a status symbol and mark of military achievement. The horse harnesses, to which these phalerae were attached, were made of organic materials, such as leather, and therefore easily perishable.

During the Roman Empire, horses were extremely important for battle, as well as for aspects of everyday life, such as transportation, hunting, farming, and chariot racing. The Romans associated the horse with the spoils of war, connecting it symbolically with power, victory, honour, domination, and virility. Horse harnesses were richly decorated with phaleras and precious metal appliques, reflecting the importance of the horses for their owners for whom these animals constituted a precious status symbol.


Weight 115.9 g
Dimensions W 9 cm



Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum, item 2002.483.9.

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