The Silchester Horse
Cast copper alloy - Roman, 1st century
This bronze figure of a horse consists of two conjoined triskeles (three branched motifs) which are reminiscent of late Iron Age art. It was cast in one piece and then hammered and filed to shape. Both sides are decorated although now one side is clearer than the other. It was probably originally enamelled.
The horse, usually referred to as the Silchester Horse, was found by Reverend J.G. Joyce on 27 October 1870 during the excavation of the Basilica at the Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum, near the village of Silchester in Hampshire. He suggested it was a child's toy. However, there are indications at the forefeet that it might once have been attached to something else. The broken edge is too flimsy for it to have been a handle so its function remains unknown to us.
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