Silver bowl

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From Traprain Law, East Lothian

Postcard of Silver bowl.
© National Museums Scotland

Silver bowl

This silver bowl 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 hoard included over 50 bowls of various shapes and styles.

The centre of the bowl is ornamented with a Nereid (a daughter of a sea god) on a panther-headed sea animal, surrounded by shells and dolphins. Three of the four original handle mounts survive, in the forms of swans' heads.

Themes from classical Greek and Latin mythology and literature were often portrayed on late Roman metalwork. Scenes with nereids were popular, known, for example, on objects found in Romania and Carthage.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-039-699-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 30
Date: Deposited between 410 and 425 AD
Material: Silver; large; circular; showing Nereid
Dimensions: 2.50" H x 12.00" D; weight 33.55 oz
What: Bowl
Where: Scotland, East Lothian, Traprain Law
Description: Large circular scalloped silver bowl with Nereid, from Traprain Law
  • Curle, Alexander O. The treasure of Traprain. A Scottish hoard of Roman silver plate. Glasgow: Maclehose, Jackson and Co., 1923, pp. 36-9. 
  • Kent, J.P.C. & Painter, K.S. Wealth of the Roman world AD 300-700. London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1977, p. 124. 
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