Lot 91: Roman Ewer Handle with Faunus
December 6, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 1st-2nd century AD. A bronze handle with mask; the bow lentoid in section with D-shaped lower plate, ribbed collar; the figural plaque hollow-formed with mask of Faunus(?) modelled in the half-round with luxuriant curly hair, large eyes, goat's ears, short ribbed beard below with knop finial; mounted on a custom-made stand. See Rolland, H. Bronzes Antiques de Haute Provence, Paris, 1965, items 290, 291, 292 for type. 244 grams, 14.5cm including stand (5 3/4"). Property of an Essex collector; acquired on the European art market. Faunus was the old Italic god of nature and the protector of shepherds. His title Innus means 'the most fruitful', and this relates to his powers of fertility. As well as a god of nature he also had oracular powers which involved the interpretation of noises from woodland, as well as reveal the future through dreams and voices in sacred groves. The majority of his temples were in rural settings but he also had a temple on Tiber Island in Rome with his main festival being held on December 5.
Condition Report: Very fine condition.