CIMRM 830 - Torchbearer (?). North wall; and the lost Handbridge statue. Chester, Britain.

See also CIMRM 831 and CIMRM 832.

Four Mithras-related items have been found in Chester. One of these is now lost. Unfortunately the CIMRM 830 entry is confused between the lost item, found at Handbridge near the river before 1732 and owned by a Mr Prescot, and a new item found in the North Wall in 1891. This site will treat CIMRM 830 as the extant monument 171; but the evidence for the other is below.

1. The statue from the north wall (1891)

By Roger Pearse. Grosvenor museum, August 2013.

By Roger Pearse. Grosvenor museum caption, August 2013.

From: Haverfield, Catalogue of the Roman inscribed
and sculptured stones in the Grosvenor Museum, Chester, (1900), p.80 & p.125 (=plate).

General view of the exhibits at the museum.

CIMRM 830 and 832 side by side at the Grosvenor museum.

CIMRM 830 is accessioned as CHEGM: 1999.6.171 (Haverfield's 171). Sandstone statue in the Grosvenor museum in Chester, Britain, of a man with crossed legs in eastern dress. Head is missing. It was found in the in the North Wall (West) in 1891 (that is the north section of the town wall). This is on display at the Grosvenor Museum.

The correct details may be found in the Richmond-Wright catalogue (1955), entry 169 (and see plate, left):

Haverfield's catalogue (1900) reads:

The CIMRM entry is hopelessly confused. It states that CIMRM 830 is Haverfield No. 169, but this is plainly CIMRM 831 which also references Haverfield 169. It also confuses Haverfield No. 171, found only in 1891, with the lost Handbridge item once owned before 1732 by a Mr Prescot.

CIMRM entry

Cumont's article is also confusing to the modern reader, as it lists three items for Chester. Two, TMMM II p.391, monument 269a and 269b, are plainly CIMRM 831 and CIMRM 832. TMMM II, p.390-391, Monument 268, is as follows:

2. The lost Handbridge statue (pre-1723)

The lost Handbridge statue. From: Horsley, Britannia Romana (1732), 316 No. V and Pl. 67.

The confusion is explicable if a fourth item, now lost, once existed.

Watkin states in 1889, before the discovery of the 1891 statue:

Horsley's entry (1732) reads:

To finish this litany of confusion, here is a map of Chester indicating some of the supposed find spots:

1The author is actually W. Thompson Watkin (without an 's'). Publ. 1889. Online here.
2Online here.

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