Lot 70: Roman Gorgoneion Mask with Silver Inlays
December 6, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 1st century BC-2nd century AD. A quality bronze bowl mount of the mask of Medusa (gorgoneion) with silver inlay to the eyes, serpents in the hair above the brow also with silver-inlaid eyes. See Rolland, H. Bronzes Antiques de Haute Provence, Paris, 1965, item 327, 328 for type. 69 grams, 49mm (2"). Property of a London gentleman; formerly the property of a Surrey gentleman. In Greek mythology the Gorgon was a terrifying creature whose gaze turned all living things to stone. After the monster was killed by Perseus the head was given to Athena (Roman Minerva) to wear on her armour as a protective shield, or aegis; Zeus (Roman Jupiter) is also often seen wearing the aegis with the Gorgon head. The ability of the head to attract and hold evil powers, and divert them from other targets, meant that it became a popular object for use as an amulet in the Greek and Roman periods. The head was also used on buildings, tombstones and coffins for averting the power of evil.
Condition Report: Extremely fine condition.