Italy, Vicarello (ancient Aquae Apollinares), Roman, Augustan period
Silver, Overall: 12.2 x 7.8 cm (4 13/16 x 3 1/16 in.). Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1966.371
This masterpiece of the Roman silversmith’s art was found north of Rome at Vicarello, the ancient Aquae Apollinares (the Springs of Apollo). Exquisitely worked in relief is a multifigure scene centered on a rustic shrine of the god Priapus. He is in the form of a stylized boundary marker placed atop a column. A woman approaching from the right seems to have brought him to life by touching him. To the left are votive offerings to the god arranged on top of and around a table. A satyr at the far left and a maenad at the far right dance ecstatically.
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