Description The heads of Bacchus (Dionysos), on the left, and Silenus, on the right, are in profile and facing each other on this intaglio. Bacchus is wearing a fillet, and one of Silenus’ pointed ears is visible. The heads had traditionally been identified as the philosophers Socrates and Plato.
Provenance John Stanhope, London, by 1748, [mode of acquisition unknown]; Philip Dormer Stanhope, fourth Earl Chesterfield, London, 1748, by bequest; William Ponsonby, second Earl Bessborough, Parkstead House, London, by 1761, by purchase [Bessborough no. 7 C, as "Socrates and Plato"]; George Spencer, fourth Duke Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, ca. 1765, by purchase [Marlborough no. 356]; George Spencer-Churchill, fifth Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, 1817, by bequest; George Spencer-Churchill, sixth Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, 1840, by bequest; John Spencer-Churchill, seventh Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, 1857, by bequest; Sale, The Marlborough Gems, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 28 June 1875, p. 57, lot 356; David Bromilow, Bitteswell Hall, Leicestershire, ca. 1875, by purchase; Julia Bromilow Jary, Bitteswell Hall, Leicestershire, 1898, by bequest; Sale, The Marlborough Gems Purchased by the Late David Bromilow, esq., Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 26 June 1899, p. 65, lot 356; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1899, by purchase [Dikran Kelekian as agent]; Sadie Jones (Mrs. Henry Walters), New York, 1931, by bequest; Joseph Brummer, Paris and New York, 1941, by purchase [Brummer inv. no. N5143a]; Walters Art Museum, 1942, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase [formerly part of the Walters Collection], 1942
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