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Collections / Itineraries / Roman Collection: ivory

Pyx with Dionysian scenes

Pyxes were small boxes of cylindrical shape with a lid, made of various materials, also valuable as ivory and silver. Initially intended to contain cosmetics, jewelry, toiletries and medicines, were later used in religious ceremonies, such as containers of relics or blessed hosts.

More info

This pyx was made from a section of elephant tusk and is probably of the Roman school; it is decorated with four reliefs referring to pagan mythology: the birth and childhood of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and equivalent of the Roman Bacchus.

Provenance: Palagi Collection
Datation: 5th century AD
Material: ivory
Dimensions: heigth cm 7,8; diam cm 11
Inventory #: pcr 12

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