Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Journal (1870) - On an Enameled Ornament Found at Slack

Reproduced from Volume I of the Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Journal.

The following is a transcription of a historic article and may contain occasional errors.


By Albert Way, F.S.A., Vice-President of the Royal Archaeological Institute.

YAS On an Enameled Ornament Found at Slack.png
Roman Ornament of bronze enameled, found at Slack.[2]

The most interesting of the minor relics brought to light during the excavations in the "Eald Fields," commenced in 1865, is a little relic of bronze enameled, of which mention has been made in a previous page, and which presents considerable elegance in decoration, and the rich, strongly contrasted colouring, that mostly characterises enamels of the Roman period. The central circlet is of smalt blue, surrounded by a circle of light vermilion; the foliated cruciform ornament within a lozengo-shaped compartment is of the same rich blue; the four surrounding spaces, extending to the margin of the circular head of this pretty little ornament, are filled in with bright red, as before. It is difficult to define precisely the purpose of this object; it has, however, doubtless served as an appliance of dress or of harness, and seems formed for attachment to a riband or a strap. Relics of the same fashion have occurred on Roman sites in England, and examples of enameled work, chiefly on fibula, are not uncommon. Amongst many beautiful specimens may be mentioned a little mounted warrior, from Kirkby Thore (Archæologia, vol. xxx. p. 284) ; a horse, from Painswick (Arch. Journ., vol. xii. p. 279) ; a pelia-shaped fibula, from Leicester (Ibid., vol. xxii. p. 69). The process of art in all is technically termed champ levé, the fused vitreous colours being affixed to the bronze in portions of the field that have been removed or chased out. The most precious relic of this beautiful art in Roman times is the cup found at a villa at Rudge, Wilts, and inscribed with the names of stations in Northumberland, per lineam valli. It is now preserved at Alnwick Castle. There are several beautiful enameled ornaments in the museums at York, Newcastle-on-Tyne, and Caerleon.


  1. Communicated to the Association at the Third Annual Meeting and Conversazione held at Huddersfield, 23rd January, 1868.
  2. This illustration is engraved from a copy by Mr. Way of a drawing by Mr. Fairless Barber.

Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Journal (1870) - On an Enameled Ornament Found at Slack


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