Appliqués such as this example, would have likely served as the emblema (centrepiece) of a bowl or a piece of furniture. It was a custom for the Ancient Romans, especially among the wealthier classes, to have highly decorated everyday life objects, such as jewellery boxes or toiletries tables. The subject of such decorations could vary between portraits of women, to depictions of gods, or natural elements and animals.
According to ancient Roman mythology and religion, the goddess Victoria, known as Nike in Greek mythology, was the personified goddess of victory. Numerous artistic and architectural dedications to her bear witness to the popularity of the goddess’ cult: Victoria appears widely on Roman coins, jewellery, architecture, and other works of art. She is also portrayed while holding a palm branch, as seen on this example, a symbol of triumph and peace in many ancient societies.
To find more about Roman Goddesses, please see our relevant blog post: Roman Goddesses in Mythology.