Roman Silver Dolphin Appliqué

£ 295.00

A detailed Roman silver appliqué fashioned in the shape of an undulating dolphin. The dolphin features a prominent dorsal fin, an upturned nose and curved, finned tail. Detailing has been incised to depict the wide eyes and finned tail. The mounting peg is attached to a modern gold stand.

Date: Circa 1st - 4th century AD
Provenance: From the late Alison Barker collection, a retired London barrister; from her collection formed early 1960s-1990s.
Condition: Very fine condition. Mounted to a modern gold stand. Some resin still visible to the tail.


SKU: AH-990 Category: Tags: ,

Dolphins were a popular motif in Roman art, depicted in bronze, as well as mosaics, frescoes and on the reverse of coins. They appear frequently in mythology, often helping Classical heroes such as Theseus, as well as being associated with a number of gods, including Bacchus, Apollo, Venus and Cupid. Within the creation myth written by the Latin author, Nonnus, writing in the 5th century AD, he claims within in his epic poem the ‘Dionysiaca’that a dolphin carried Aphrodite from the sea to the island of Cyprus.

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

Weight 6.12 g
Dimensions L 2.5 cm




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