Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Bronze phallic ornament

Period:
Imperial
Date:
1st century A.D.
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
L. 4 1/16 in. (10.3 cm.)
Classification:
Bronzes
Credit Line:
Gift of A. Hyatt Mayor, 1960
Accession Number:
60.117.1
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
This ornament probably hung as a charm from a tintinnabulum, a wind chime adorned with bells and intended to ward off evil. These phallic tintinnabula were doubly apotropaic, the protective effect of the phallus strengthened by the ringing of the bells. The phallus on these objects could take many different forms, transforming into a wolf, dog, beast, lion, monster, or winged creature.
Said to be from Italica (near modern Seville, southern Spain)

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