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Home > Auctions > 5th March 2024 > Romano-British Enamelled Bronze Mirror Handle

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LOT 0370

GBP (£) 2,000 - 3,000
EUR (€) 2,340 - 3,510
USD ($) 2,530 - 3,800

Current bid: £1,300 (+bp*)
(3 Bids, Reserve met)

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(3 Bids, Reserve met)   |   Current bid: £1,300
5 in. (94 grams, 13 cm).

Flat in section with crescentic upper end and scrolled lower end, the surface formed with symmetrically placed low-relief palmettes, vine tendrils with grapes and foliage, reserved against the field enamelled in green, dark blue and red.

Acquired in the early 1980s.
with Edward Smith, USA.
From the collection of a Connecticut, USA, collector.
with TimeLine Auctions, 23 May 2017, no.251.
Private American collection, New York, USA.

Accompanied by an academic report by Dr Raffaele D'Amato.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate number no.11994-210999.

Cf. Tassinari, S., La vaiselle de bronze, Romaine et Provinciale, au musée des antiquités nationales, Paris, 1975, fig.20, for a similar handle; Mattusch, C.C., Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture Around the Bay of Naples, Washington, 2008, item 30, for type; for decoration and similar types in Britain see PAS WMID-3FE965, LVPL-39BCF5,YORYM-20B68C.

This could be an example of a Romano-British bronze and enamel handle from a mirror or patera, similar to some other existing examples in museums. The shape of the handle is similar to one of the famous pateras from Pompeii. Our specimen is decorated with 'Celtic-style' motifs consisting of a curvilinear scrollwork design of turquoise and blue enamel. A bowl with almost identical enamel work was found in Staffordshire, known as 'The Staffordshire Pan' (WMID-3FE965), while a complete patera was excavated in Amiens (known as the Amiens Patera).