Is that a shoe on your shoulder?
This brooch is in the shape of a Roman shoe. The dots represent the iron nails that held the shoe sole together. A small loop at the heel end would originally have had a chain hanging from it. The brooch was found in the south-eastern part of the City of London near Monument.
Who wore it?
Both men and women wore brooches in the Roman period. Brooches were used to fasten clothing and as decoration. This type of brooch was popular in the northern provinces of the Roman Empire in the 2nd century ad, and is sometimes found in the 3rd century too.
Roman shoes had soles made of layers of leather held together with either iron hobnails or leather thongs. The patterns of the nails often formed a design on the sole. The brooch shows only the sole of the sandal with the hinged pin on the reverse.
Museum number RAG82<92>