Roman Bronze Ram Finial


An ancient roman bronze, hollow-cast furniture mount in the shape of a ram’s head. The protruding head features distinctive spiral horns and ears, as well as incised skin, eyes, and mouth defining the facial features of the ram and the texture of its fleece. This object probably functioned as a furniture mount, for decoration.  The Ram is mounted on a black wooden stand and can be easily be removed.


Date: Circa 1st century BC - 1st century AD
Condition: Very good with some ferrous spikes to the interior.

In stock

The ram was one of the most popular choices of sacrificial victim in the Roman world. It is likely that this protome was originally affixed to a piece of furniture or to a household object, possibly a patera. A patera was a broad and shallow dish or bowl, mostly produced in bronze, and usually used as a sacred libation vessel – the ram’s head finial could allude to the ritual function of this object.

Rams’ heads are usually found on drinking vessels (rhytons), bronze furniture, funerary altars made from marble, and architectural decoration. Although sometimes merely decorative, the image of the ram’s head was usually accompanied by ritual overtones: as animals important to Roman religion and ritual, they were a potent motif. In ancient astrology, they were also important to Romans as the first sign of the Zodiac (Aries), which reigned over the spring months bringing fertility and crops.

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



Weight 51 g
Dimensions L 3.4 cm



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