ROMAN BRONZE ELEPHANT CASKET LEG  - RARE

£800.00

Measurements: 3.5 cm  - height, 3.4 cm - width

 

Description: An extremely rare cast bronze casket leg in the form of an elephant's head with rounded ears and short tusks, a studded band above its brow, its trunk wound around a claw. Casket or chest legs are almost always found detached. They were used for various containers such as capsa, acerra and pyxis (cosmetic and incense jars).

 

In history of Rome, war elephants first entered the scene in 3rd cent. BC and became famous due to wars between Carthage and Rome. After Punic Wars, Romans brought back many elephants and used them in following campaigns. Battle of Thapsus in 46 BC was a last significant use of war elephants in the West. Parthians continued to use war elephants occasionally in battles against Roman Empire. Due to their size, infantry could not easily stop them and they would send enemy horses into a panic.

 

Period: 1st – 2nd cent. AD

 

Condition: Fine, complete, with patination on the surface.

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