Roman Bronze Roundel Depicting Cupid - X.0193 - For Sale
Roman Bronze Roundel Depicting Cupid - X.0193
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Decorative roundels like this marvelous bronze example are some of the more mysterious objects in the whole of Roman art. While we know they served as adornments, the objects they once embellished, ranging from pieces of furniture to chariots, were assembled from less durable materials and have long since disappeared, leaving behind these decorations. The only clue we have to their placement is the series of small round holes and the larger square hole that penetrate the flat rim. It is likely that a large nail would have been driven into the roundel in order to secure it in place on the object it once adorned, be it chest or chair. Nails may have been driven into the smaller holes as added support. However, it is also possible that a wooden frame may have been nailed into place using these holes. The advantages of this theory are twofold: the frame would have both covered the unattractive nail in the top center and served visually as a transition between the bronze of the roundel and the wood of the object to which it was attached.