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Ave!

APPLIQUÉ, SILENUS MASK, ca.1st-2nd Cent. AD, Extremely Rare!

Copper Alloy; 11CM / 0.40KG or 4 1/4 inches / 14 ounces

Con/ Beard-tips slightly chipped, otherwise, As Cast. Dark green and red patina, waxed for further preservation.

Description/ Mask of Silenus, featuring his typical bald pate, bulging almond-shaped eyes set back below his furrowed, overhanging brow, horses ears, snub nose and rounded cheek bones, his beard and mustache formed of thick radiating wavy locks.From a wine-mixing bowl, the top is hand engraved and curled to have snugly fit about the rim. The reverse cast to match the curvature of the bowls side.

Seller's Note/ As mentioned above, the mixing bowl itself had to have been truly enormous, and very heavy, just to support this one applique alone but, more than likely, there may have been a quartet of them. Who could afford such a wine-mixing bowl and needed one of such inordinate size is moot. Our best guess it may have been an extremely wealthy land-owner with a magnificent and very opulent villa or perhaps the Provincial Governor himself.

Silenus was the Greek and Roman God of Drunkness and Wine-making, so who better to adorn a wine bowl. A notorious consumer of wine, he was usually drunk and had to be supported by satyrs or carried by a donkey. Silenus was described as the oldest, wisest and most drunken of the followers of Dionysus and in some legends, the son of Pan. He enjoyed wine, music, dance, and sleep. He was the father and grandfather of multiple lesser deities including the satyrs and the nymphs, as well as the centaur Pholos and possibly the whole centaur species.

 

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