Nov 12, 2009
Nov 12, 2009
Nov 12, 2009



AD 1–100

Iron tang, bronze handle

Overall: 15.6 cm (6 1/8 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1952.586


Did you know?

The bronze handle of this key combines three heads: of a boar, Mercury, and Silvanus.


Cleverly designed with an iron bit attached to a bronze handle, this key can be admired from all angles. While the handle terminates in the head of a ferocious boar, farther down are back-to-back heads of Mercury—his wings formed from the ears of the boar—and his goat-legged, horned son, Silvanus (also known as Pan). Given the rustic nature of the heads, scholars have suggested that the key might once have unlocked a country villa.

See also
GR - Roman
Greek and Roman Art
Type of artwork: 

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