While the two-faced man in the Roman period is usually a depiction of the god Janus, this piece of terracotta is more likely an example of a gryllus or grotesque. The term gryllus is used to describe a grotesque figural design made up of human heads and animal parts, and often is shown with two or even three faces. While these images are most often found on engraved intaglio gem rings, it is possible that they could have been made in terracotta as well.
Roman Terracotta Grotesque
A fascinating piece of terracotta, depicting two identical faces back to back. The features have elements of the grotesque about them, with vacant, staring eyes, large ears, and their tongues sticking out. The piece is hollow, and features a large hole on the top of one of the faces.
Condition: Very fine condition, with some slight wear in the material.