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Roman Bronze Lion Mask with Handle

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Ancient World: Roman: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1218385

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Roman Bronze Lion Mask with Handle, ca. 2nd - 3rd Century. Circular mold with highly raised features. A ring adorns the top, gaping jaws, teeth bared and tongue protruding. Striated whiskers, prominent arched eyebrows, and thick shaggy mane. Excellent condition and on custom lucite stand. Mask is 6 1/2" diameter while stand is 11" high x 8 1/2" wide x 4" deep. Ex: Sotheby's New York. According to Alberti's Window, in an article dated 1918 the doorknocker has existed since ancient Greece. At this time slaves were often assigned to answer doors, and they were chained to the door in order to prevent them from running away. The predecessor of doorknockers were short iron bars that attached to these chains, which were used as “rappers.” It appears that the lion’s head design also existed for doorknockers in ancient Greece. In 1942 Sterling Dow mentioned some “heavy handsome lion’s-head door knockers…which escaped the sack by Philip in 348 BCE.”