ITEM NO. M2121
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Full Screen Roman Silver Theatre Mask Appliqué
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CIVILIZATION Roman
PERIOD Graeco-Roman
DATE circa 1st Century B.C.-A.D.
MATERIAL Silver
MOUNTED Yes

Roman Silver Theatre Mask Appliqué

Graeco-Roman, circa 1st Century B.C.-A.D.

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Inspired by an earlier Greek original, this grimacing slave mask in the form of a comic actor with frowned brow, deeply-set articulated eyes, flaring nostrils, and megaphone-like mouth with Dionysiac features characterized by the wreath of ivy and berries around his head and corkscrew hair-curls on either side.  

Roman actors had bad reputations and their morals challenged even the decadence of Roman society. Their performances could be lewd, highly sexual and offensive. Yet despite the moralizing of certain elements of society, these dramatic spectacles remained hugely popular with ordinary Romans. Theatre was important in the life of average citizens and had a powerful effect in moulding public opinion. This piece, likely a decorative element, reflects the popularity and prominent place of theatre in Roman culture.


Height: 1 4/5" (4.6cm)
Provenance:

ex. Old German collection, acquired pre-1960.
Formerly in a New York private collection.

Condition:
Intact with green and black vertebrae patina.
Bibliography:

cf. Getty Museum, accession no. 96.AQ.193, for a similar mask in the form of a lamp. Link
Hart, Marie L.; The Art of Ancient Greek Theater, p. 150, no. 87, for a bronze actor. 

Direct URL: http://medusa-art.com/M2121

Search by Keyword Tags:
Ancient Roman Art
Decorative Portraits
Greek Antiquities

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This item qualifies for an interest-free payment plan. This exclusive feature is made available to customers who would like to pay off qualified purchases in installments. Learn More 

Free expedited shipping is available on this item. Allow 3-5 business days for delivery to the U.S.A. and Canada. Allow 5-10 business days for international deliveries. Express shipping may be available at checkout. Minor shipping delays may occur. All items are carefully packaged to ensure safe arrival. We ship Monday to Thursday. Learn more

CATEGORY Roman
PERIOD Graeco-Roman
DATE circa 1st Century B.C.-A.D.
MATERIAL
MOUNTED Yes
 
 
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