Cosmetic Sets of Late Iron Age and Roman Britain [Paperback]

Ralph Jackson (Author)

ISBN: 9780861591817 | Published by: British Museum Press | Series: British Museum Research Publication | Volume: 181 | Year of Publication: 2010 | Language: English 208p,

Cosmetic Sets of Late Iron Age and Roman Britain


Cosmetic sets are small two-piece bronze toilet implements for the preparation of mineral powders, probably colourings for the eyelids and face. Found almost exclusively in Britain, they range in date from the Late Iron Age to the 4th century. An association with fertility is indicated by the crescent shape, by overtly phallic imagery and by the twinning of male and female animal heads. Ralph Jackson's research led to proper recognition of the type, and subsequently the British Museum has built up the largest single collection (160 examples). This catalogue includes not only the British Museum examples but also those in other museums and private collections throughout Britain. It focuses on typology and function but also considers manufacture, including the results of scientific analysis, followed by full discussions of decoration, context, distribution and dating.

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