Most likely a decorative element of a piece of furniture, this elephant ivory statuette made in Constantinople in the early 6th century was found in a tomb in the Rhine valley, with two lion heads in rock crystal.
Sculpted in haut-relief, it depicts Ariadne, a mythological figure associated with Bacchus, dressed in a soft and flowing tunic draped so as to reveal a breast. The eyes were once inlaid with glass beads.
Bacchus’ companion, crowned by two “cupids”, is flanked by two figures that often accompany here in representations of Dionysian processions: a satyr and a maenad playing cymbals.
Former Du Sommerard archive
Inventory no.: Cl. 455
Height: 40 cm
Width: 14 cm
Depth: 7.5 cm
Periods: 1st quarter of the 6th century; 2nd quarter of the 6th century
Techniques: haut-relief, inlay