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  • image M418

Fragment of a decorative oscillum ('little face') relief or panel

Greek marble, probably Pentelic marble

Height: 16cm
Width: 15cm

Museum number: M418

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 284help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

A revelling Satyr, clad in a panther skin, dancing right.

On the reverse in high relief, head of a young Satyr turned towards the left and crowned with vine leaves.

As the Satyr head on the reverse indicates, this is the centre of a circular oscillum or is, alternatively, from the left side of a panel with heads facing out. In the latter case this young head was probably contrasted with the mask of a bearded Silen. Compare, especially for the obverse, a large double-sided relief in Budapest1. A similar fragment once in the collection of Frederick Cook at Richmond2 and now in Oxford showed on one side a similar Satyr dancing to the left and on the opposite, a Seilenesque mask facing, wearing the mitra with bunches of ivy leaves on either side. From the evidence of the well known Bacchic puteal in the Prado, Madrid, and its copy in the Galleria dei Candelabri of the Vatican, we see that circular oscilla were suspended from their hooks as ornaments to garden or courtyard landscape3.

1 Hekler, Antiker Skulpturen, pp. 110-112, no. 102 (see previous).
2 Eugénie Strong in Journal of Hellenic Studies Vol. 28, 1908, p. 39f., no. 64, figs. 21, 22.
3 P. Arndt, Photographische Einzelaufnahmen antiker Skulpturen, Munich, 1893-1912, p 1690-1693; Dal Pozzo-Albani Drawings, Royal Library Windsor, nos. 8355f., 8642-8645, 8008f.

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