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Home > Auctions > 25th May 2021 > Roman Gilt Mount with Cockerel Gemstone

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LOT 0923

GBP (£) 80 - 100
EUR (€) 93 - 117
USD ($) 113 - 141

Bid History: 1   |   Current bid: £1

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Bid History: 1   |   Current bid: £1

Roman Gilt Mount with Cockerel Gemstone

3rd-5th century AD

A gilt-bronze disc mount with central cell, inset table-cut garnet gemstone with engraved cockerel. 5.49 grams, 19mm (3/4"). Fine condition. [No Reserve]

Property of a Cambridgeshire, UK, gentleman; acquired before 2000.

See James, S., Krmnicek, S., The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Roman Germany, Oxford, 2020, esp. p.480.

The disc is probably the central part of a circular brooch decorated with garnet. In the British Museum, a group of similar fibulae illustrate the variety of decorative schemes used on circular brooches, including coloured enamel, gilding, and the use of glass 'gems' in the centre.

The cockerel was linked to the cult of Asclepius (Greek Asklepios), the god and patron of medicine and health. According to Plato, Socrates's last words were, 'Crito, we owe a cock to Asclepius; pay it and don't forget.' Asclepius was the god of health, and the sacrifice of a cockerel was a normal offering of gratitude when recovering from illness.