Roman bronze wine service returns to permanent department

6 July 2010

The complete Roman bronze wine serviceThe complete Roman bronze wine service
Part of the Roman bronze wine servicePart of the Roman bronze wine service

On Tuesday, 6 July, the permanent department "Netherlands in the Roman era" became richer when it gained a special series of objects. The ‘treasure found in Nistelrode' found its final place in the museum on that day, after being restored and on display in various locations including the North Brabant Museum.

Book on the treasure found

The treasure is a Roman wine service found in 2004 in Nistelrode in the province of Brabant. A book about this has also come out: ‘De Schatvondst van Nistelrode - Romeinse luxe in het Bataafse land' [The Treasure of Nistelrode - Roman luxury in Batavian Country], written by Richard Jansen (leader of the research) and Ruurd Halbertsma (curator of the classical world collection, National Museum of Antiquities). The book is for sale in the Museum Shop for €7.95.

A 30-part luxury service from the Roman era

In the early spring of 2004, archaeologists made an extraordinary discovery in Nistelrode in Brabant. No fewer than thirty ornately decorated bronze pitchers, bowls, wine decanters and candelabras were exposed. It was a Roman wine service, unique to the Netherlands. The archaeologists of Archol B.V. (faculty of Archaeology, University of Leiden), also exposed a portion of a Batavian settlement. This dated from the period from the end of the 1st to the beginning of the 3rd century A.D. In addition to the wine service, they also found shards, roof tiles, coins, broaches and - via tracks - the plots of three farms.

Hidden from plundering Germans

The service was used some 1800 years ago to serve wine during festive banquets. They were probably buried by the owner to keep them out of the hands of plundering Germans. Because of the magnitude and exceptional quality, the service is a discovery of national importance. In 2005, the state secretary for Culture awarded it to the National Museum of Antiquities. The study and the book were created with the help of the Municipality of Bernheze, Archol B.V. and Erfgoed Brabant.