The Corbridge Lanx is an outstanding example of late- Roman decorated silver plate.
The Corbridge Lanx by Unknown Artist, 300400
© British Museum
- 50 x 38 cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £150,000 ( Total: £1,858,000; Tax remission)
- Acquired in:
- Trustees of Duke of Northumberland's family
The raised rim is decorated with a running vine-scroll in relief, and forms a frame to the picture which depicts Apollo at the entrance to a shrine; his sister Artemis enters on the left, and Athena is also present. These references mean that it occupies an important place in the complex religious and spiritual history of the fourth century. The lanx was found in the bank of the River Tyne at Corbridge, Northumberland, by a nine-year-old girl. Her father, sold it to a local goldsmith in two parts; for the foot he received thirty-six shillings (£1.80) and a further thirty guineas (£31.50) for the rest of the object, a very large sum of money for the time. In 1979, the late Duke of Northumberland placed the lanx on loan to the British Museum, where it was displayed in the Roman Britain gallery; its purchase from the present Duke in 1993 marks a happy conclusion to the 1600 years or so of the lanx's history so far.
Found Corbridge, Northumberland in 1735; owned since by Dukes of Northumberland; on loan to British Museum since 1978.