Roundel with Comic Mask

Object Details


Roundel with Comic Mask




Greek (South Italian)


South Italy (?), Europe (Place created)


about 300 B.C.



Object Number:



2.1 × 7 cm (13/16 × 2 3/4 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

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A mask of the sort worn by an actor in a comic play decorates this bronze roundel. Shown in three-quarter view against a plain background, the high relief, repoussé mask has straight hair brushed back from a receding hairline, a thick moustache and a small, pointed beard. The raised eyebrows cause the forehead to crease, and the eyes, framed by crow's feet, roll to the side. The full lips appear to be natural rather than the artificial mouthpiece of a mask. These features suggest that this mask represents a leading slave role.

The form of the mask and the expression of impish guile are very similar to masks decorating pottery made in the Greek colonies in South Italy, especially in Apulia. On the back of the roundel, two bronze bands attached with rivets would have held a thick, narrow strap running vertically. This arrangement of attachment points suggests that the roundel was probably a bridle ornament.

- 1987

Acanthus Gallery (New York, New York), sold to Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, 1987.

1987 - 1996

Barbara Fleischman


and Lawrence Fleischman, American, 1925 - 1997 (New York, New York), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996.

A Passion for Antiquities: Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman (October 13, 1994 to April 23, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 13, 1994 to January 15, 1995
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland), February 14 to April 23, 1995