Circa 1st-2nd Century AD
Nicely detailed theater mask in bronze. The oval face is framed by two corkscrew curls cascading at each side and short wavy strands covering the forehead, dressed with a headband. The eyes are outlined in relief with a central impressed pupil. The nose is flat and broad. The lips are full and parted. A recess at either side of the head indicates the mask probably formed the decorative element to a vessel handle. The back surface is concave.
Height: 1.75 in. (4.2 cm)
Condition: Intact with smooth attractive patina. Mounted on a plexiglass display stand.
Provenance: Formerly a German property.
Reference: See Sabatino Moscati, The Phoenicians, pgs. 491-499 for discussion.
Background: Theater mask appliques, such as this example, were popular decorative elements for vessels, lamps and furniture. See similar images of ancient theatre art on display at the Getty Museum, Malibu, in the exhibition The Art of Ancient Greek Theatre through January 3, 2011.