Bridle bit of bronze

< 58 of 838 > Back

From Birrenswark, Dumfriesshire

Postcard of Bridle bit of bronze.
© National Museums Scotland

Bridle bit of bronze

This enamelled bronze bridle bit was found at Birrenswark in Dumfriesshire. It is the part of the bridle sometimes termed a snaffle bit, which fitted in a horse's mouth and to which reins were attached. This example was used between 0 and 200 AD.

The bridle bit is of a type known as a 'derivative three-link' bit. The bit shows signs of wear, and has been strengthened in the past by riveting strips of metal on the rings. There is enamel decoration on the reverse of the panels within the rings.

Although harnesses are rarely found, the bits, mounts, fasteners, studs, and strap junctions often survive. Many of the parts were subject to stress during use, and show signs of repairs, as in this case, providing information on metalworking techniques.

Record details

To search on related items, click any linked text below.

Online ID: 000-100-036-129-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FA 29
Date: Between 0 and 200 AD
Material: Bronze; traces of red enamel
Dimensions: 9.00" L; ornamented rings 2.50" D
What: Bridle bit, snaffle
Where: Scotland, Dumfriesshire, Annandale, Birrenswark
Description: Bronze snaffle bridle bit with elaborate projections into the ring interiors retaining traces of red enamel, from Birrenswark, Dumfriesshire
  • MacGregor, Morna. Early Celtic art in North Britain. Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1976, vol. 1, pp. 28-30, 53; vol. 2, no. 2. 
Related Records:
< 58 of 838 > Back
Powered by Scran