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Intaglio of Bacchus and a Silen
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Intaglio of Bacchus and a Silen


Description Provenance Credit
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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Creator
Period
1st century BC (Late Hellenistic-early Roman Imperial)
Medium
carnelian; mount: gold
(Precious Stones & Gems)
Accession Number
42.1182
Measurements
intaglio with gold setting: 5/8 x 13/16 x 1/4 in. (1.64 x 2.09 x 0.59 cm); ring: 13/16 in. (2.11 cm) (diam.)
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