X-ray fluorescence analysis (pXRF) performed by colleagues at UCL led us to discover that the flask is made from a leaded bronze which would have had a golden colour that would have contrasted beautifully with the multi-coloured enamel. While many ‘Celtic’ enamelled products may have been made in northern Britain, they also seem to have been popular in the south with single fragments of other hexagonal flasks have previously been discovered in Hampshire and Essex.
Instances of enamelled flasks such as this (many as single fragments) have been found across Britain, although a few example have also been found further afield in Germany and on the Black Sea coast. This suggests that, like several other forms of enamelled vessels, flasks such as these were actually made in Britannia and the decoration shows clear influence from native art traditions.
The Moorgate flask is a beautiful example of Roman style taking on Celtic artistic influences, highlighting the fusion of cultures that occurred in Britain after the Claudian invasion, as craftsmen experimented with new materials and motifs. Further research on this piece, owned by the Clothworkers Company, will hopefully involve comparing its design in detail to other similar finds which will provide clues to its precise date and whether it may have been made in the same workshop as other pieces that have been previously found, both in London and further afield.