Hair-ring or ponytail holder

Inventory: 2012/48/1

Hair-ring with a 2-cm diameter made of nine solid gold threads twisted and plaited into groups of three. The two terminals represent stylised zoomorphic heads, possibly of serpents.

The piece bears a strong resemblance to the hair-rings in the Arrabalde (Zamora) Hoard I, which have horse head terminals. Parallels have also been drawn with pieces found in Padilla de Duero (Valladolid), and the eyes display a similar treatment to the piece from Saldaña (Museum of Palencia). These characteristics confirm its provenance as the northwest Central Plateau, probably corresponding to the Vaccaei area or the neighbouring Transmontan Astur region.

The piece dates to between the second and first century BC, as evidenced by some of the coins found in the aforementioned hoards.

The antiquarian Mr. Bagot requested an export permit (Export. 2012/328) but the Historical Heritage Assets Classification, Valuation and Export Board exercised its right of first refusal. The hair-ring is a fascinating object and the only one of its kind in the museum collection.