A Ceramic Vessel in the Form of a Dolphin
This Roman ceramic vessel was made in the shape of a dolphin, an animal that has a long history in mythology of aiding humans during shipwrecks and tempests. The vessel shows the dolphin’s strong body topped by a large fin decorated with a series of rips. The dolphin’s tail fin is missing, yet the vessel is otherwise in remarkable shape.Dolphins were sacred to Neptune, and their image was found in coastal cities throughout Rome in respect to the temperamental sea god. The columns of the Circus Maximus—a stadium 5 times larger than the Colosseum—were decorated with dolphins that were used to tally the number of laps during chariot races.
This piece is the perfect item for anyone who has long admired these elegant animals, and who understands the ancient relationship between dolphins and humans. The vessel dates from approximately 100 AD – 300 AD and is 9 centimeters in height.