The phalera was a decorative disc, used either to adorn the breastplate of a soldier, or harness of a horse. They were often impressively embellished, serving as a status symbol and mark of military achievement, like a medal. The horse harnesses (to which these phalerae were attached) were made of organic materials, such as leather, and so do not survive.
Roman Bronze Military Phalera
A complete cast bronze military horse harness mount (phalera). The mount is circular in plan, with three stirrup-shape loops for attachment, and small raised pin at the very centre (also for attachment). The mounts features a central openwork panel of curvilinear design (reminiscent of La Tène style) exhibiting quadruple rotational symmetry. The pattern is centred around a small central disc and is framed within a thick outer border. Into this openwork design are incorporated four double Celtic ‘trumpet curves’ (Trompetenmuster), which are considered to resemble plant-life, and to be based on the Greek Lotus motif.
Condition: Small corner of one stirrup-shape loop missing. Otherwise excellent condition with patches of attractive green patina.