Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 1st to 3rd century CE. A cast bronze handle for a chest or piece of furniture in the form of a curved, rising head of a sea serpent, an animal known as a cetus in the Classical world. In myth, Cetus ravaged the coast of Ethiopia, sent by Poseidon as punishment for Queen Cassiopeia's declaration that her daughter Andromeda was more beautiful than the Nereids. The king and queen chained their daughter to a rock as an offering to the monstrous creature, but Perseus found her and saved her, slaying Cetus. Here the creature has a long, serpentine neck, with an almost parrot-like beak and fins radiating outward along its back. The base is hollow to allow attachment. Size: 2.5" W x 4.45" H (6.4 cm x 11.3 cm); 5.1" H (13 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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