A Roman marble Silenus pedestal


Circa 1st-2nd Century A.D.

In the form of a herm column, with a mask of Silenus on the front, depicted with a wide grimacing mouth, and a full shaggy beard, a fillet in his hair, his eyes with drilled pupils beneath arching satirical brows, the herm column with projections to either side, a drilled hole in the top, possibly for insertion of a separately-made figure or terminal, standing on a stepped base, 47.6cm high



The use of Silenus or satyr masks as well as phallic emblema on herms in ancient Greece is thought originally to have had an apotropaic function.
The tradition continued into the Roman period and such herm-style sculpture was employed for decorative purposes.
This pedestal is probably a statue support or decorative element.