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Roman - The Alton Jewel - Hampshire

Antiquities - Roman

LOT 516

GBP (£) 30,000 - 50,000
EUR (€) 34,020 - 56,700
USD ($) 41,960 - 69,930
Additional Fees*

Sold for (Inc. premium): £34,500


Circa 1st century AD. A unique and unparalleled pendant jewel, the backplate surmounted by a pediment inscribed TI CAESAR and with a broad laurel wreath suspension loop affixed at the top; the front section cast as a bust of the emperor, wearing a laurel wreath and with Julio-Claudian hairstyle; the lower section inset with a triangular red cornelian stone within a cell and thus likely to have originated in a provincial workshop as this method of setting is not usually associated with Rome; the titular form Ti Caesar appears frequently on the coins of Tiberius (14-37 AD) while the bust is particularly evocative of that depicted on the Alexandrian coin issues and the facial features are 'pharaonic' in style, especially the mouth; an Alexandrian origin is possible, perhaps as a donative offering piece. 62 mm tall; 68.30 grams.

Extremely fine.

Found by metal detector near Alton, Hampshire, 10th December 1999, in the context of the Alton Hoards of Celtic gold stater coins and other imported Roman gold jewellery (now on display in the British Museum), all discovered by Mr P. Beasley and Mr P. Murphy. This jewel was reported to the British Museum and returned to the finders (disclaimed, as the BM were uncertain of the dating, under the Treasure Act). An X-Ray Fluorescence Test Certificate is also offered with this item, together with an extract of the Treasure Annual Report entry, other documentation and copies of press cuttings. This item is also accompanied by a sworn affidavit by the finder setting out the details of the findspot.

DCMS Treasure Annual Report for 1998-1999; published December 2000, Roman Artefacts Section, p. 24, Item 43.

The Hampshire region was occupied by the Atrebates and Regni tribes in the Celtic period and the leader Cogidubnos later adopted the Roman prenames Tiberius Claudius, after being granted Roman citizenship and the tilte Legatus (normally reserved for those Romans of Senatorial rank). There are examples known of Roman jewels with inset flat tabled triangular stones (we have images on file and available).

Friday 19th March 2010 at The Swedenborg Hall Antiquities & Coins

TimeLine Auctions Ltd arranges printed catalogue rostrum Auctions, eAuctions and Timed Auctions where we offer antiquities, ancient artefacts / artifacts, antiques, collectibles, coins, medals and books for public sale.

Lot No. 516

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Auction Venue:
20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH

Viewing from noon Monday 19th February 2018
Champagne Reception: 5.30 - 9pm
Auctions start 10am GMT (Lunch 1.30 - 2pm)

Tuesday 20th February 2018 (Day 1)
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Harwich, CO12 4DN

Thursday 22nd February 2018 (Day 3)
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Friday 19th March 2010 at The Swedenborg Hall Antiquities & Coins

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