|ROMAN BRONZE BALSAMARIUM: HUNTING SCENE
In very high relief covering the spherical body. Two equestrians, one falling off horse, with wild animals (lion, bear, panther, stag, and boar) and dogs in superb detail. On a pedestal foot; two loop rings with animal protomes at the lip to attach the swing handle.
Superb style; olive green patina. A masterwork!
Later 2nd Century AD
H. 5 3/8 in. (13.5 cm.); Diam. of mouth 2 7/8 in. (7 cm.)
Ex P.P. collection, California; J.M.E. collection, New York, acquired in Munich, April 2008.
For related examples see Claudia Braun, Römische Bronzebalsamarien mit Reliefdekor (BAR International Series 917), 2001, pls. 11 (Obernburg, Römermuseum), 18 (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris), and 19 (Rijksmuseum van Oudheiden, Leiden).
Vessels of this type are thought to have been used as oil containers by athletes. Their iconography often appears to refer to the Roman games, such as the wild beast shows and staged hunts which were held in the amphitheater.