Roman Manica or Arm Guard, 1st-3rd Cent
Copper alloy (76mm) and rawhide leather (19CM)
A curious bronze artifact arrived to NRC (see the 2nd photo) and at first glance, do to the curved nature, we thought it may have been Celtic in origin. Not! Instead it turned out to be the bottom of a common Roman cooking skillet, or patera. (see the 3rd photo). Not sure what to do with it, we sent it to our smith friend who wrote back to tell us that he could create a very cool-looking manica and this is the final result.
Read here is what Dave the Smith noted:
"I designed it like a soldier would have done, using what he would be able to find on a battle field or around camp. Most field-made soldier items I have owned or have seen usually have no real refinements, they are somewhat crude and definitely have that "made" look. I was going to do some leather carving and other work to make it nice, but I think it would have been too much. Most field made pieces served a purpose to fill a need or to make issued equipment better suited for their individual needs. Some were field repairs, others made due to shear boredom or as decorations. I used to find little trinkets that were made to kill time and were just tossed."
Made from stout leather and with age contemporary Roman buckles, this macho arm guard is one-size-fits-all and can be worn on either arm.