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HOME : Classical Antiquities : Classical Bronzes : Roman Bronze Vessel Attachment Depicting the Head of Medusa
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Roman Bronze Vessel Attachment Depicting the Head of Medusa - CK.0177
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 100 AD to 300 AD
Dimensions: 2.5" (6.4cm) high x 1.5" (3.8cm) wide
Collection: Classical
Medium: Bronze

Location: United States
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During the Roman era, attachments decorated with the female heads were extremely popular, not only for vessels, but also for lamps, beds, carts, and other household items. For the Roman elite, mere functionality was not enough, an object, not matter how utilitarian, should also be beautiful. An ornament such as this may have hung along the end of a handle attached to a vessel. The attachment is decorated with the stylized head of a woman we can identify as the legendary mythological creature Medusa. Earlier on, Medusa was typically represented in a more frightening, monstrous manner. However, another more appealing version of this gorgon developed over time and would have been equally as recognizable as the fanged, serpent- haired type to an Ancient Roman. This attachment clearly depicts the more appealing type, keeping with its purpose of ornamentation. - (CK.0177)


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