Measurements: height (with a stand) – 6.8 cm, width – 5.5 cm


Description: A small finely crafted Roman bronze dolphin on a custom stand. Likely served as a decorative applique. Elongated body, three-pronged tailfin, raised dorsal fin and defined pectoral fins on his sides. In the Roman Empire dolphins were the companions of Venus, often shown beside her leg on statues. They were a part of sea entourage of Neptune and his wife along with Tritons, Nereids and various sea monsters. They were carved as decoration on sarcophagi, jewellery pendants, appliques on hairpins and furniture.


Reference: B. S. Ridgway, ‘Dolphin and Dolphin-Riders’, in Archaeology 23 (1970), pp. 86-95.

The British Museum


Period: 1st – 3rd cent. AD


Condition: Very fine, some patination on the surface.

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