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Case 12: Rome: wealth & empire
44 BC - AD 337

Domestic luxury


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A Roman ‘Swiss Army’ knife?

As well as a knife, spoon, and fork, this implement provides a spike, spatula and small pick. The spike might have helped in extracting the meat from snails, and the spatula in poking sauce out of narrow-necked bottles: the pick could have served as a tooth-pick. While many less elaborate folding knives survive in bronze, this one’s complexity and the fact that it is made of silver suggest it is a luxury item, perhaps a useful gadget for a wealthy traveller.

Date: around AD 200–300 
Silver

Object Number: GR.1.1991

see the online collections database




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