Roman Bone Knife Handle in the Shape of an Animal


An interesting Roman knife handle in the shape of an animal. The animal is finely carved in the round from a single piece of bone. Its form is compact and simplified, with an emphasis on decorative patterning, such as rounds and lines.

Date: Circa 1st Century BC
Condition: Fine condition; some signs of ageing on the surface.


SKU: FP-29 Category: Tag:

The animal is shown in a recumbent position, with a small head and elongated body. Its anatomical features are defined by engraved lines, and of particular interest is the animal’s face, boasting big eyes and a grinning mouth. All the more impressive for its simplicity, this animal carries naturalism and expressiveness in its depiction.

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


Weight 12.6 g
Dimensions L 6.2 cm