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BeitragVerfasst: 03.03.2007 10:51
von Kelvin Wilson
I have written to the British Museum....


BeitragVerfasst: 05.03.2007 11:25
von Thomas Trauner
Sorry Kelvin, for not being able to help more... :(


BeitragVerfasst: 05.03.2007 11:42
von Kelvin Wilson
Oh, that's okay, Thomas :-) -- I assume, though, that you are just as intrigued as I am with this 'new' German portrait...

Meanwhile, I need some different help in order to possibly identify it: a translation from Latin! What exactly does this sentence (word for word) say?

'Sum figuli lusus russi persona Batavi'

('lusus' is a prank, 'persona' a theatermask... that I know)

Thanks again,

Kelvin Wilson

BeitragVerfasst: 08.03.2007 00:11
von Kelvin Wilson
I have just received information from the British Museum on the mask with Suebian knot:

"There are traces of pinkish pigment of the face and the hair was coloured blond. It's from the Blacas collection. There is no information about its findspot.

Description: Terracotta mask of a member of a German tribe, with a knot of blond hair above his right ear.
Height 7.50 in
Width 7.00 in

Period: Roman
Made in: Europe, Italy (probably)

Now, it is the date that intrigues me: the Suebian knot was (first?) described by Tacitus, correct? and that would be at the end/turn of the 1st century.
Then there are a few depictions of this hairstyle, if not extant examples (Osterby Man bogbody, dated 1-100 AD).
So my question is: how long, from when to when, was this hairstyle around? Several decades around 100 AD, or are we talking centuries??

Curious to hear you opinion-- danke schön,

Kelvin Wilson

BeitragVerfasst: 08.03.2007 08:14
von S. Crumbach
There are some more scpultures with suebian knots. I will have a look on my books.

BeitragVerfasst: 08.03.2007 10:37
von Bullenwächter
There is a find from 1941 or 1942 made in south Germany of a piece of a roman stone sculpture. I have to look in my files and I will post it later this evening.

BeitragVerfasst: 08.03.2007 11:34
von Kelvin Wilson
I have found a German (!) publication on the mask with the Suebian knot.... P. Jacobsthal, "Tonmaske eines Germanen im British Museum", in "Germania" 16, 1932, 207 f. Taf. 13.

Is someone out there, in Germany, able to copy this article for me? Or if it is merely a photograph, transcribe the caption...

Thank you, thank you, thank you :-)

Kelvin Wilson

BeitragVerfasst: 08.03.2007 12:08
von S. Crumbach
I will arsk a friend of mine for a kopie.

BeitragVerfasst: 08.03.2007 12:30
von Kelvin Wilson
Thanks again, Sylvia :-)

Meanwhile I have had the Martialis quote re-translated (and indeed, it does not say 'red-haired Batavian' but 'mask of a red Batavian'!), am speaking to an expert of Roman terracotta this afternoon and am in the process of contacting the person who first noted the possible link...

Why so much effort?
Because I am in the preparations for a book on the Batavian horsemen, and if this mask can be made tangible, have a wonderful centre to the book: a very characterfull portrait where hitherto there were none at all!

I am, by the way, also very interested in the Chatti tribespeople (from whom the Batavians descended) of the 1st century BC... what do we know about their customs in dress and appearance apart from the wellknown growing of the hair before battle's victory?

BeitragVerfasst: 08.03.2007 15:07
von Thomas Trauner
We should have the article in the museum. I?m shure.
Let me have a look next week.
Just let me know your adress, pm if you like.


BeitragVerfasst: 12.03.2007 19:20
von Thomas Trauner
I?ve found the publication of 1932... (and will send a copy to your adress, Kelvin)

Nothing really new.
British museum, Inv.Nr. 67.5 -8.664, 20a, not published by the British Museum yet (1932)
Height: 18,5 cm
whitish-yellowish clay, white paint with a "lot of pink", Hair and beard light ocre. All "nail-holes" old.
Nothing know about the provenience. "Propably Collection Blacas" (?)
Probably 2nd. cent. AD. Probably made in Italy.(polychrom)
Which "tribe" is also unknown, the knot "was used by various tribes"

Nothing what really shets some more light on this find.


BeitragVerfasst: 12.03.2007 21:21
von Kelvin Wilson
Nice work, Thomas-- thanks.
There is something new there, though: "...white-yellowish clay". I spoke to terracotta expert last week and she said that orange clay meant it was produced in south Europe, yet that white clay would put its production in north-western Europe.
That's interesting as it makes it more than just 'an alien charicature'....

Thanks again-- looking forward to the copy! Kelvin

BeitragVerfasst: 13.03.2007 08:17
von S. Crumbach
My I get a kopie, too, Thomas?

BeitragVerfasst: 13.03.2007 10:20
von Thomas Trauner
No problem, Sylvia.

Kelvin- Jacobsthal just states, that the "mask" is italien-made, because it?s polychrome. No polychrome thing like that in trans-alpine roman empire ( 1932)
He dates it into the II.Cent, because he thinks it looks like the "Germanic heads" of the Trajan column.

It?d say: Roman art-historians to the front ! Count the locks ! :D :D


BeitragVerfasst: 14.03.2007 00:00
von Nika E.S.
Another german publication... ... 697870.pdf

Hanelore Rose... Dissertation.

There is also the translation from the latin sentence:

Persona Germana. Sum figuli lusus russi persona Batavi. quae tu derides, haec timet ora puer.

"Germanische Maske. Scherz eines töpfers bin ich, eines blonden Batavers Maske, du belachst mein Gesicht, aber dem Kind macht es Angst."

"Germanic Mask, joke of an potter i am, mask of a fair batavian, you laugh about my face, but the child makes it fear."

or seomething like that... the latin german is difficult to translate to english elegantly...