Ancient Roman Bronze Bust of Silenus

£ 145.00

A fine Ancient Roman bronze Silenus bust modelled in the shape of an older male head. The facial features have been rendered in quite a stylised but very evocative manner. The man’s large deep-set eyes, bulbous nose and  eyebrows are dramatically furrowed and the lower part of the face is framed by a beard rendered symmetrically. Two horn-like knobs protrude from the top of his bald head. The man represented is most likely Silenus, god of drunkenness and wine making, a frequent companion of Dionysus. The reverse of the bust is filled with lead, suggesting that the item could have served as a steelyard weight.

Date: Circa 1st-3rd century AD
Provenance: Ex private P.A. Hertfordshire collection acquired in 1990s
Condition: Fine condition. Damage to the lower left part of the beard.


SKU: SK-55 Category: Tags: , ,

Silenus was the rustic god of wine-making and drunkenness, and always depicted as an old man. He was the foster father, tutor, and companion of the god, Dionysus, who was entrusted to Silenus’ care by Hermes after his birth from the thigh of Zeus. Silenus rode in the train of Dionysus, seated on the back of a donkey, and it was believed that he could predict the future when intoxicated.

Weight 34.57 g
Dimensions L 3 x W 2.5 cm



Reference: For a similar item,The British Museum, item 1914,0219.1

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