Roman ‘Fertility Eagle’ from Selkirk

The incipit of an item from the Selkirk Advertiser:

A Roman symbol of fertility found near Selkirk, shaped like an eagle emerging from a flower with a berry in its mouth, highlights the discoveries made in Scotland in this year’s Treasure Trove Report.

The talisman, excavated in 2010 by a local metal detectorist between Selkirk and Galashiels, is believed to have adorned a Roman wagon or chariot, and is the first relic of its kind to be found north of the border.

The report described the artifact as: “A copper alloy mount in the shape of an eagle head, the sacred bird of Juno, found near Selkirk. The eagle is depicted emerging from a flower with a berry held in the beak and was intended as a symbol of good luck or fertility. Mounts of this type were used on the supporting frames of Roman wagons and this is the first such mount from Scotland, with only a small number known from Britain.”

Selkirk historian Walter Elliot, to whom the finder took the object for identification, guessed its ancient origin by the “patination”: “I knew it was not a modern find because it was bronze-green with age. It looked very Roman, but I wasn’t sure.”

It took his friend, archeologist Dr Fraser Hunter of Glasgow University, who had seen an identical copper eagle in York, to identify the rare artifact as Roman. [...]

… and here’s the small photo that’s included:

via the Selkirk Advertiser

Now unfortunately, as I write this, the Portable Antiquities Scheme seems to be doing maintenance or something and I can’t get an official description but check this thing out:

via the Portable Antiquities Scheme

… which is clearly an analog and is designated in the photo description as a cartfitting. Where this ‘fertility’ association comes from is beyond me.