Roman bronze ear found in Brompton-on-Swale to be sold at auction

The bronze ear was found in Brompton-on-Swale.

A Roman bronze ear over 1,600-year-old that was found in Brompton-on-Swale will go under the hammer at Tennants later this month.

A Roman cast bronze ear, from a life-size head or statue, dates from c.200AD-400AD.

The ear is one of only a handful of fragments of such high status bronze sculpture that have ever been found in Britain.

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Anatomically correct, with a suggestion of intricately cast hair, the ear has weathered to a mottled green and is a pleasing object in its own right.

However, the ear also hints at the rich history of the area. Brompton-on-Swale is situated on Dere Street, an important Roman Road that linked York with the North, next to the Roman fort and settlement of Cataractonium (now Catterick).

Such a high status object hints at the complex society that grew up around military outposts, even in the wilds of Northern Britain.

The Roman ear was fully documented by the Portable Antiquities Scheme, and is being sold at Tennants in Leyburn with an estimate of £400 to £600 as part of their Antiquities Auction on March 31.

The sale comprises antiquities from around the world, with further highlights to include a collection of Egyptian core-formed glass beads from the Ptolemaic-Roman Period (4th Century AD).

A sale catalogue will be available at www.tennants.co.uk before the sale.