Stunning Roman-era horse brooch unearthed in England

The brooch would have originally been golden and decorated with coloured enamel. Photos: Lincolnshire County Council

A rare Roman-era brooch depicting a stylised horse has been unearthed in a field in England.

The intriguing artistic interpretation of the horse would make it a striking piece of jewellery to wear, even today.

The item, which dates from the dawn of the Roman conquest of Britain, was found by metal detector enthusiast Jason Price, 48, from Grantham, in a field near Sleaford, Leasingham, Lincolnshire.

A local expert says the find rewrites our understanding around Roman brooches.

Jason describes how it was the last field of the weekend that he was going to check. It was heavily ploughed and he held out little hope of finding anything.

“You can imagine my surprise when my detector started buzzing.

“About eight inches down I found something caked in mud. At first I thought it was a piece of litter, but as I cleaned it off, my jaw dropped open. There it was – a horse brooch. I was shaking. I’ve found things like coins before, but never anything like this. Absolutely amazing!”

Lincolnshire County Council’s finds liaison officer Dr Lisa Brundle, said: “This brooch is an exciting and rare discovery. It depicts a fairly realistic horse with an outstanding level of detail and is in remarkable condition – it even has the pin still attached!

“The horse would have originally appeared gold-like and the recesses probably once contained bright red, blue or yellow enamel. It would have been a spectacular sight on someone’s robe.

“This type of Roman horse brooch is incredibly rare in Britain – and is the second only to have been found in the UK. The only other one is in the British Museum and is decorated differently – with spots of enamel only.

“The Leasingham horse, however, is in a league of its own with its pin situated below the legs and the realistic depiction of a saddle.”

The brooch will go on display at the Collection Museum in Lincoln later this year.

The brooch still had the pin attached.

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