150. A Rock Crystal Foot from an Imperial Chryselephantine Statue

Roman, late 1st century BC
Size: 6 cm long

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The marvellous quality of carving indicates that it was once part of an ivory figure of the Emperor Augustus, the high luxury end of the images, both great and small, that he distributed around his Empire to promote his own divinity and power. Such an exercise in public relations is strangely familiar today, but the fact that it could be successfully mounted 2,000 years ago is a cause for wonder.

The report of the scientific examination by Striptwist Laboratory is available.