Sea Leopard Brooch

Contributed by Isles of Scilly Museum

This brooch, made of leaded bronze with enamel decoration, has the head of a leopard, a long spotted body, fins on its back and belly, and a large finned tail. Enamelled brooches of this type were made in Europe in the second century AD. Part of the marine thiasos of Bacchus, which also includes Tritons, Nereids, dolphins and hippocampi, sea leopards decorate other objects of the period, notably floor mosaics (e.g. a fine pavement at the Fishbourne 'palace') and were seen as benevolent escorts for the human soul on its journey to the Isles of the Blessed. Many other brooches, coins and trinkets, all of Roman- provincial types, in the debris of a stone-built hut on the small uninhabited island of Nornour, once part of the main land-mass of the Isles of Scilly. Such objects, personal possessions, were perhaps offered at a shrine here. Scilly was on the sea-routes of western Europe, so maybe people on vessels calling there for supplies and shelter would make offerings for the safety and prosperity of their onward voyage.

Comments are closed for this object

Comments

  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 12:09 on 8 June 2011, binyue wrote:

    could you please give me some further detail about leaded bronze ? Thanks!

    Complain about this comment

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline

Location

Probably made in the Rhineland

Culture
Period
Theme
Size
H:
2.6cm
W:
4.8cm
D:
0.4cm
Colour
Material

Find out more

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.