Roman Bronze Repousse Plaque with Muse Terpsichore
A rectangular Roman, bronze plaque decorated with the embossed image of the Muse Terpsichore. She is depicted standing frontally, her head facing left and one leg raised off the ground. She is dressed in a short sleeved tunica talaris, holding a lyre in her right hand and a staff in the left hand. An inscription in Latin appears in the left upper corner reading ‘TEPSECORE’. A rectangular embossed ffragment appears in the lower right corner, possibly representing a plinth and thus taking reference from a marble parallel. The figure is framed with an embossed edge. The reverse is undecorated.
Date: Circa 4th century AD Provenance: Acquired in the 1970s. Ex London collection Condition: Good condition. Some areas now missing. Repairs to bottom edge. Mounted on a custom-made stand.
Terpsichore within Greek Mythology was one of the nine Muses, daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. She was the goddess associated with dance and lyrical poetry and is perhaps the most famous of Muses. She is often depicted seated and holding a lyre, accompanying the chorus as they sing.
Plaques such as this would have adorned the sides of caskets and were popular from the 4th century. The Muses were a popular theme and comparative works have been found, all formed in repoussé technique. This hammering style was also popular from the 3rd – 5th century
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