Roman Bronze Ewer Handle with Mask


A T-shaped Roman bronze strap handle with a crescentic rim and curved shank. The shank extends into a thumb-pad featuring a decorative mask, possibly Bacchus. The handle most likely came from a wine flask.

Period: Circa 1st-2nd century AD
Provenance: From an important London collection, acquired in the 1990s.
Condition: Very fine condition.


In Graeco-Roman religion, Bacchus was also known as Dionysus. Bacchus was the god of the grape harvest, wine-making, and wine. He was associated with ritual madness and ecstasy, particularly on account of his female worshippers, the Maenads. Given that this handle was most likely affixed to a vessel that would have been used for holding wine, this imagery is particularly apt.

To discover more about the cult of Dionysus please visit our relevant blog post: Dionysus: Madness, Release, and Wine.

Weight 61.5 g
Dimensions L 8 x W 5.7 cm


Roman Mythology

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