Roman Bronze and Iron Lion Key 1st-2nd Century AD

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An iron shank key with a bronze handle in the form of the forepart of a lion . The iron shank was the functional part used to turn a lock, while the bronze handle served both as a decorative element and as a way to grip and turn the key. The handle of the key is fashioned in the shape of a head of a lion, which emerges from a square-section socketed shaft decorated with circles . The face of the lion is highly detailed, with fine facial features such as the eyes, snout, and mouth carefully crafted; 100 grams , 86mm.Fine Condition. Roman keys of this type were commonly used during the Roman Empire, and were often crafted with intricate decorative elements such as animal heads, human figures, or geometric patterns. These keys were status symbols, with the decorative elements serving as a way to display the wealth and taste of the key owner. See The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession numbers 06.176.26 and 06.176.48, for broadly comparable objects, dated 1st-7th century AD; see accession number 06.176.24, for a similar object formed as a horse; 06.176.71 for similar formed as a leaping feline. From the private collection of Surrey gentleman, formerly acquired on the EU Art market.

Additional information

Weight 100 g

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Auction started 03/12/2023 5:00 pm

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