Phallic emblems are found on a wide range of Roman objects, from amulets to frescoes, from mosaics to lamps. Such pendants were a symbol of fertility, as well as performing an apotropaic function. The phallic deity was called Fascinus, from the Latin word ‘fascinare’, meaning “to cast a spell”. Charms and amulets shaped as phalluses were worn to invoke the god’s protection against evil spells, and were a common piece of jewellery in ancient Rome. According to Pliny the Elder, charms of this kind were worn even by babies and soldiers.
Romano-British Bronze Phallic Pendant
An Ancient Romano-British bronze amulet in the form of a realistically modelled phallus with a suspension loop to the top. Green patination covers the surface.
Provenance: From a Surrey gentleman's collection (DG), purchased on the London Art Market from an ADA member, formed 1990's onward.
Condition: Fine condition