Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 1st to 3rd century CE. A cast silver ceremonial ladle with a long handle that ends in the head of a duck, swan, or goose - the bird's eyes and plumage nicely incised and its beak and frill of neck feathers very well defined. Just before the bowl and the duck terminal, the long handle is also decorated with twin curled flourishes. In ancient Rome, the ladle - called a simpulum or simpuvium - was used in the preparation and serving of ceremonial libations. It was also more generally just a utensil, depicted in vase paintings compositions of banqueting scenes aiding in the distribution of wine into cups. The style of this example - with a round bowl and a handle ending in the head of an animal, especially a duck - was a very long-lasting tradition, extending from the Greeks and Etruscans to the Romans. Weight: 90 grams Size: 7.5" H (19 cm); 8.375" H (21.3 cm) on included custom stand.
This piece has been has been tested for the presence or absence of particular elements via XRF elemental analysis. A basic 1-page summary of the XRF screening will accompany purchase, identifying each element present in the sample, as well as the quantity of elements present. A more complete analysis detailing historical data / comparisons is available for additional charge – please contact us.
Provenance: private Southern California, USA collection, acquired in the 1970s to mid-1980s
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Loss to bowl as shown. Some dents and tears to lower peripheries of what remains of the bowl. The silver has attained a lovely warm patina with rainbow iridescence.