Round attachment with a man and a woman kissing
Roman, Eastern Mediterranean
1st century A.D.
Other: 5.2 x 1.5 cm (2 1/16 x 5/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Silver with gold leaf
Not On View
Round attachment: a man and a woman kissing. Roundel, the interior of a small dish or the similar part of the lid of a pyxis or jar. Young man, reclining and kissing a young woman leaning against him; they are draped, on a couch, the scene viewed from above, in a ropework border. A wreath on the couch beside their half-figures encloses an inscription in Greek capitals, “OPHILON TI PHILOUSI” o philon ti philousi (“he who loves for her who loves). Gilded silver repoussé relief laid over a thin disc as a backing, the latter of lower content silver-bronze.
[Former label text] The roundel probably came from the interior of a drinking bowl. Terracotta bowls with sculptural centerpieces, including another group of kissing lovers, are displayed in a nearby case in this gallery.
"OPHILON TI PHILOUSI" ("the lover [masc.] to the beloved [fem.]")
1974: with Sotheby & Co., 34 & 35 New Bond Street, London (auction, December 9, 1974, lot 213, not sold); by 1975: with Robert E. Hecht, Jr.; purchased by MFA from Robert E. Hecht, Jr., November 9, 1977
Helen and Alice Coburn Fund