Harness buckle (detail)

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from Newstead, Roxburghshire

Postcard of Harness buckle (detail).
© National Museums Scotland

Harness buckle (detail)

This is a detail of an enamelled bronze harness buckle found at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. It formed part of the harness equipment of a member of the auxiliary cavalry, and was probably intended for ceremonial use.

The enamel decoration is of two kinds. In the centre is millefiori enamel (where rods of different coloured glass are placed side by side, and then sliced thin). Around this are cells of yellow enamel, powdered with spots of brown.

The use of enamel decoration was popular among native people in Scotland and northern Britain for prestigious objects, and was even adopted for some Roman objects, such as this one. The glass used was recycled from imported objects or scrap material.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-004-076-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FRA 846
Date: Between 80 and 180 AD
Material: Enamelled
What: Buckle plate
Who: Newstead Collection
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Melrose, Newstead
Description: Enamelled buckle plate from Newstead
  • Curle, J. A Roman frontier post and its people: the fort of Newstead. Glasgow: MacLehose, 1911, pp 329, 332, Pl. LXXXIX, 25. 
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