Terracotta lamp handle, Terracotta, Roman

Terracotta lamp handle

Period:
Imperial
Date:
2nd century A.D.
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Terracotta
Dimensions:
L. 2 5/8 in. (6.7 cm.)
Classifications:
Vases, Terracottas
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.194.2115
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
Zeus Serapis, enthroned, holds a scepter in his left hand and rests his right hand on the head of Cerberos, the guard dog of Hades. Since the Roman Serapis is equated with Osiris, the Egyptian god of the Underworld, it seems appropriate to pair him with another representative of Hades, Cerberos. The association between the Greek god Zeus and the Egyptian god Serapis descends from Ptolemaic cult and highlights Serapis as a guarantor of royal power.
Said to be from Egypt

Froehner, Wilhelm. 1903. Collection Julien Gréau. Verrerie antique, émaillerie et poterie appartenant à M. John Pierpont Morgan no.15, p. 263, pl. 337.6, Paris.