Roman Bronze Strigil

Roman Bronze Strigil

An ancient Roman bronze strigil with a thin looped handle, the scoop curving to a right angle, and an ancient riveted repair to the curved section.

Ca. 2nd century BC - 2nd century AD.
Length: 9 in. (23 cm).

The strigil was a scoop-like scraper used in combination with olive oil and sand or pumice to exfoliate the skin after exercising or bathing. The strigil was an essential piece of equipment for the Greek and Roman athlete and as such came to symbolize athleticism itself. Greek vases abound with depictions of youthful athletes using strigils in the gymnasium. The celebrated sculpture by Lysippos, the Apoxyomenos of ca. 350-325 BC, depicted a nude athlete scraping himself off with a strigil. The Romans adopted the strigil not only among the athletes in the paelestra but also among the patrons of the public baths.

cf. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, no. 54.1926; also, I. Jucker, Italy of the Etruscans, (Mainz, 1991), p. 95, nos. 111-112.

Formerly in a New England private collection inherited in 1975.

Inv#: 5793


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