**Originally Listed At $400**
Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 1st to 3rd century CE. A fine cast bronze ladle with a deep bowl that is gently corseted at its center and has a narrowed, thick rim. The long handle is cast between the main part of the bowl and the rim. It flares outward and then curves into a tight angle before terminating in a vaguely swan-headed form. The ladle - a simpulum or simpuvium - was used to make libations and to taste wines and liquors that were poured on the heads of sacrifices. It was also more generally just a utensil, shown in banqueting scenes on Greek and Italian vases aiding in the distribution of wine into cups. The hooked end of the handle is shown in a scene from an Etruscan tomb being held by a slave and used to hang the utensil from the side of a large wine vessel. The Romans slightly modified the style, but continued the Greek and Italian tradition of associating this item with a bird form. Size: 2.75" W x 3.1" H (7 cm x 7.9 cm)
Provenance: private Orange County, California, USA collection, acquired before 2000
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