**Originally Listed At $1200**
Rome, ca. 1st century CE. This adorable piece would have plugged a bronze lamp; it has been cast in the shape of a crouched mouse with his paws raised to his mouth, as if he is gnawing on a piece of bread. His curled tail forms a hole to which he would have been attached to the lamp to prevent the escape of any excess oil. Mice were a constant of Roman life (especially as Romans were not fans of cats) and the maker of this plug would have been acknowledging the very common problem of mice eating wicks and drinking lamp oil, a common complaint documented in many ancient texts. Mice also were a feature of Roman literature and art that depicted mice undertaking human activities proportional to their size. Size: 1.4" L x 1.9" W x 1" H (3.6 cm x 4.8 cm x 2.5 cm).
Provenance: private New Jersey USA collection, acquired over twenty years ago
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