Rams’ heads are usually found on drinking vessels (rhytons), bronze furniture, marble funerary altars and architectural decoration. They were used strictly decoratively sometimes, though with ritual overtones. As animals important in Roman sacrifice they were an especially convenient motif. In ancient astrology, they were important for Romans as the first sign of the zodiac (Aries) that reigned over spring months and brought fertility and crops. A patera was a broad and shallow dish or bowl, mostly produced in bronze, and often used as a sacred libation vessel. The ram’s head protome could refer to the ritual function of the object, as the ram was a favoured sacrificial victim at Roman festivals. Along with the religious, the patera was also used in the domestic sphere.
Fine Ram Head Applique
An Ancient Roman bronze protome in shape of the ram’s head mounted on a custom made stand. Cylindrical base, protruding head with distinguished spiral horns and ears, incised skin, eyes and mouth. This protome likely belonged to a piece of furniture or a household object, possibly, a patera.
Condition: Very fine, complete and intact.