Roman Bronze Cockerel Tintinnabulum Pendant


A Roman cockerel tintinnabulum pendant cast from bronze. The semi-naturalistic bird features a long body with an upright tail, a comb and a short beak. One of the wings is enriched with small circles. A small loop has been added to the top of the body for attachment to the tintinnabulum. The cockerel has a rounded base and therefore cannot stand unaided.

Date: Circa 1st-4th century AD
Provenance: ‘The Ancient Menagerie Collection’ formerly the property of a Cambridgeshire lady, collected since the 1990s and acquired from auctions and dealers throughout Europe and the USA, now ex London collection.
Condition: Fine condition, patination and wear to the surface due to age. Chip to tail.

In stock

SKU: LD-724 Category: Tags: ,

Cockerels were a popular choice of imagery for the Romans; they were part of daily life in the empire, with their crows signalling the start of each new day. They were also associated with the messenger god, Mercury, and additionally would be carefully observed by priests and augurs as their behaviour was believed to provide omens. As such, cockerels may also have been associated with divine guidance and good fortune. Bronze statuettes were popular across the Roman Empire, usually modelled in the shape of gods, goddesses and animals. Such statuettes could have been part of private households or placed in temples as votive offerings. Interestingly, during the Roman Empire, the Asia Minor region was famous for its cast metal sculptures.

For more information about the meanings of animals in Roman art, see our relevant blog post: Animal Symbolism in Roman Art.

Weight 21.1 g
Dimensions W 3.2 x H 2.4 cm



Reference: For a similar item,The British Museum, item WITT.146

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