Rome, Imperial Period, ca. 1st to 3rd century CE. An incredible example of a Roman folding small knife, with the blade made of iron, attached to the bone handle by a bronze pin. The handle is carved in the form of a lioness extending her paw, with fine detail on the face, paw, and body. The iron blade at one point could fold into the handle, but has rusted in place. The bone has excellent signs of wear and is stained a slight green patina near its base from contact with the bronze pin. This must have been a treasured and unique item for an ancient Roman, perhaps a woman who could have kept it folded in her clothing. Size: 6.5" L (16.5 cm)
Provenance: Ex-Private German collection acquired at auction
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