Carved bone hairpin


British Museum

British Museum

This long pin was designed to decorate a hairstyle like the one depicted on its carved head. Fashionable women throughout the Roman world copied the clothing and hairstyles of the Imperial court. During the Flavian dynasty (AD 69-96) elaborate styles with high fronts of false curls were fashionable. They were secured and embellished with a row of pins like this one. The ornamental heads of the pins projected above the hair. They were made of various materials, but bone was a common and inexpensive choice. This example may well have been made in a workshop in Roman London, as there is one of almost identical appearance from London (now in the Museum of London).

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  • Title: Carved bone hairpin
  • Date Created: 50/99
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 195.00mm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: carved
  • Registration number: OA.245
  • Place: Found/Acquired London
  • Period/culture: Romano-British
  • Material: bone
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Previous owner/ex-collection Lucas, J F
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