Rome, ca. 1st - 3rd century AD. Solid cast with L-shaped curving wide blade, exterior ornamented with a pointed petal in shallow relief; the rectangular handle folded back upon itself, the end fitting into a knotch at the back of the blade, the front of the handle with two "dog bone"-shaped stamps arranged in a T, perhaps the maker's mark. Strigils were used in combination with olive oil and sand or pumice to exfoliate the skin after exercising or bathing. The strigil was an essential piece of equipment for the Greek and Roman athlete and as such came to symbolize athleticism itself. Greek vases abound with depictions of youthful athletes using strigils in the gymnasia. The Romans adopted the strigil not only among the athletes in the paelestra but also among the patrons of the public baths. 8"L x 4"W. Custom stand.
Provenance: Ex-Artemis Gallery, ex-Mieke Zilverberg, Amsterdam, ex-Christie's, 13 June 2000 New York.
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