Gallo-Roman Terracotta Head of the Childlike Tutelary Deity Risus

Culture: Gallo-Roman
Period: 1st-2nd century A.D.
Material: Terracotta
Dimensions: 6.5 cm high
Price: Sold
Ref: 5179
Provenance: From the private collection of the French archaeologist Louis-Gabriel Bellon (1819-1899). For over 120 years in the family estate.
Condition: Fragment of beautiful quality.
Description: Rare terracotta head of the Gallo-Roman god Risus. The childlike tutelary deity with his unique, eponymous smile, the typically bald, large head and protruding ears. Statuettes of this Gallo-Roman god are known since the 19th century and were especially found in Romano-Celtic temples (fanum), such as in Northern French Mesnil-Saint-Nicaise. The French archaeologist Michaël Martin assumes that Risus statuettes were placed close to cradles to stop the babies’ crying. Its broad smile should also scare off evil ghosts. On the back a collection label with the inscription "Thérouane 316", which most probably indicates the finding site, the place Thérouane in the Départment Pas-de-Calais in der Region Hauts-de-France. Mounted.