Roman angular mask


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ITEMAngular mask
CULTURERoman, Gaul
PERIOD4th Century A.D
DIMENSIONS350 mm x 325 mm x 350 mm, 50 kg
CONDITIONGood condition, with a eye incision and a light defect in nose
PROVENANCEEx French private collection, found in 1937

Gallo Roman sculpture made in high relief and with an agressive character. It was found buried 1,30 meters under the ground in 1937 while it was being excavated in the Recques quarry, exploited by A and F Leroy. Fernand Benoît, curator of the Musée Borély in Marseilles, stated in a consultation in 1961 that it could be a provincial production of the 3rd – 4th Century A.D.

It’s a decorative sculpture, angular mask of a tomb or a civil or cultural monument. The local historian Jean Leroy shows us some research on the subject. Because of their volume, we can think of a funerary function that remember a type of monuments that cover the tombs of important military persons. It could also belong to the type of cultural monument of the so-called “four gods” and which were particularly found in the north-west of Gaul. They were characterized by being covered with sculpted scales and consisted of a rectangular base decorated with a divinity on each face.

Recques is located one kilometer from the Roman road from Lyon to Boulogne. The place of discovery was in the past an important settlement of Roman legions that attracted a significant amount of autochthonous population.

Published in local newspaper