Zoomorphic

46 sf. 280 The pin had been hinged. The brooch is in the form of a duck at rest on water. The back and the folded wings have cells for enamel of which only a mid blue on the wings survives. The brooch has lost its margins and the head is damaged.

 


280

A small three dimensional zoomorphic brooch in the form of a swimming bird of length 22mm. A solid rectangular body of triangular section has a rib along the back which leads up to a long hooked neck, with just a small crest in imitation of the head. The folded up wings are each composed of two panels of enamel inlay separated by a thin metal rib. The outer enamel panels taper from a rounded end near the neck protrusion to a pointed end at the tail and are in light blue. Those nearest to the centre of the body are in black and taper from a rounded end at the tail to a pointed end at the neck. There is a small raised moulded collar at the base of the neck which divides the neck from the enamel panels. The body is very pitted except for a small patch of original metal surface on the underside, near the tail. There is a single lug at the tail with heavily corroded hinged pin remains, and a 5mm stump of catch-plate at the front. Hattat's IARB 623 is similar but not enamelled. (See also Hull Pl. 741, 4056)

This is one of at least four standard designs. Despite being attractive, and therefore highly collectable, surprisingly few zoomorphic brooches seem to have been made judging by their representation in Museums and published sources. Dating is, therefore, poor, but it should be expected that this kind of enamelled brooch would be 2nd century and one from Verulamium falls right in the middle: 150-155/160 (Frere 1972, 118, fig.31,21).


47 sf. 297 A Horse-and-Rider brooch, the bilateral spring had been mounted on a pierced plate behind the horse's rump. The head of the rider is reduced to a plain outline with cross-cuts indicating flying hair, and he has a crudely shaped torso. The cells for enamel give little sense of modelling, but an arm may be indicated. The horse has a plain neck and head, cross-cuts marking the mane and pricked ears. The spaces between the cells for enamel on its body may indicate the rider's leg and some harness. No enamel is left.

 


297

A horse and rider brooch of length 23mm, of which the tail and perhaps the ends of the legs, are broken away. The horse gallops to the right with the mane and the rider's hair being depicted by a series of notches. There may be up to eight cells for enamel, all of which are now empty. It is the opinion of the writer however, that there are in reality six cells as one possible cell is very small and another might be more appropriately interpreted as a sunken relief moulding of the rider's arm. The pin and spring are absent except for traces of an iron axis bar in the axis bar hole of the single 5mm lug. This type is most prevalent in the Eastern Counties and whilst enamelled brooches are generally dated from the 2nd into the 3rd centuries, a number of this particular type have been found in 4th century contexts. A considerable proportion have been found on sites with a proposed religious connotation. (See Butcher 1977; 56, Ferris 1985 and Gurney 1986). Hull's type 204.

Horse and-Rider brooches are almost the commonest design amongst brooches involving living creatures. Groups are sometimes found on temple sites, so much so that sites producing five or more probably had shrines. A review of the dating shows that brooches with white metal trim, as this example once had, date basically from c.125-225. However, when they occur on religious sites in numbers, they are likely to run on into the 4th century (Jackson and Potter 1996,322-3)