Mask of Silenus (or slave?)

2nd–1st century BCE
more object details

General Description

Miniature sculptures like this played an important role in Hellenistic jewelry. This mask is decorated with repoussé and open in the back. It is one of a pair of masks, this one depicting a head of Silenus with pointed ears, the other a young man with curly hair and expressive features (1991.75.74.4). Fine wire loops with flattened ends are attached to the bottom of the mask. These two ornaments are miniscule, measuring just 1.4 centimeters across.

This ornament was allegedly found with a plaque (1991.75.74.2), a pair of ear pendants featuring Nike figures (1991.75.74.1.a-b) and another small mask (1991.75.74.4), all in the collection of the Dallas Museum of Art.

Adapted from

  • Anne Bromberg, "Eros earrings," in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection, ed. Charles Venable (New Haven, NJ: Yale University Press, 1997), 30.
  • Barbara Deppert-Lippitz, Ancient Gold Jewelry at the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art in association with the University of Washington Press, 1996), 64-5, 143.