Silver flask

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From Traprain Law, East Lothian

Postcard of Silver flask.
© National Museums Scotland

Silver flask

This silver flask was found at Traprain Law in East Lothian. It was part of a hoard containing over 150 silver objects, mainly tableware, buried between 410 and 425 AD.

The partly gilded flask has niello decoration around the neck and on the fluted sections of the body. It is lacking a base and part of the rim. Both the gilding and niello have been restored.

All the silver in the large Traprain Law hoard was treated as scrap, with virtually all of it cut up and bent over. It probably represents payment to ensure the loyalty of a friendly chief, but other theories include payment for warriors or loot.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-039-663-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.GVA 3
Date: Deposited between 410 and 425 AD
Material: Silver; wanting base and part of flat rim of mouth; knop round neck; of decagonal section below; nielloed
Dimensions: 10.00" H; weight 18.85 oz
What: Flask / portion
Where: Scotland, East Lothian, Traprain Law
Description: Portion of a nielloed silver flask with knop round neck and of decagonal section below, from Traprain Law
  • Curle, Alexander O. The treasure of Traprain. A Scottish hoard of Roman silver plate. Glasgow: Maclehose, Jackson and Co., 1923, p. 21-2. 
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