Greco Roman Period, 1st century BC/AD
A sensational ancient gigantic Phallus masterfully and realistically rendered. A scientific examination of the material by the ETH Zurich states that it is made of Pentelic (Athenian) marble! The texture and beauty of the patina developed during all these centuries is phenomenal and together with the puzzling signs (alchemistic?) engraved on the body, suggests that it remained in use probably endlessly (by whom?). In the pubic hair there are remains of green, black, red and yellow pigments. The inscription at the base in Greek reads HEGESO PROXENO.
What has it been used for? Was it something in connection with the Dionysiac cult or with Priapus? the iron loops for suspension, affixed with led on the body, suggest that it may have been used in phallophoriae (phallic processions).
Cf. Museum of Mougins for an almost identical piece that is, however, 10cm smaller and without inscription.
Condition: Excellent. A peel at the penis foreskin was reattached in antiquity and is now missing.
Provenance: German art market with official German export license.
Item reference: CL0836