2.2.4 Silver and gold

Figure 3

Figure 3: Distribution of gold and silver figurines

There is a single example of a gold figurine from Britain, Diana 233 from Cynwyl Elfed, Carmarthenshire. This figure shows the goddess in a familiar pose, plucking an arrow from her quiver and with a stag at her side, but as it is now lost it is not possible to say whether the figurine was actually gold or simply gold plated. Unfortunately, like this gold figure, a number of silver figurines, including two of Mars Nodons (more commonly spelled Nodens) from Cockersand Moss, Lancashire (216 and 217), Eagle 252 from Ilkley, Yorkshire, and Snake 672 from London, are now also missing. This leaves only Harpocrates 147 from London, Cockerel 515 from Cirencester, Senuna Minerva 753 and Hands 807 and 808 from Ashwell, Hertfordshire, and Mouse 1127 from Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex. In addition there is Hand 535 from Woodeaton, Oxfordshire, and Caduceus 702 (the serpent-entwined wand carried by Mercury) from Uley. As one might expect, the figurines in precious metals are generally well made. Sometimes both gold and silver are used together, for instance the gold chain around Harpocrates 147 and gilding on Cockerel 515. It can be seen on Figure 3 that the silver figurines are primarily found in southern Britain, with a few outliers in the north.


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