- Museum number
- Object: The Oceanus Mosaic
Six fragments of mosaic pavement, including one complete panel showing Oceanus (Panel B) and five fragments of the Orpheus mosaic in the adjoining room (Panel A).
Panel B: the panel is an irregular rectangle, framed on three sides by simple guilloche, which on its eastern side interbraids with the three-strand guilloche of Panel A. Within this frame are a band of wave pattern and a single fillet enclosing an aquatic scene flanked by sparsely leaved trees with hollow bases. Off-centre is the head and upper torse of Oceanus/Neptune with a straggling beard, a convuluted moustache and three sets of lobster claws at each temple. His trident is placed obliquely across his body. His torso is truncated by a band of small chequers, which is not quite parallel to the border. Dolphins emerge from either side of his mouth, shaded predominantly white but with some shading in grey and have red fins and streamers. Below them are two more dolphins swimming in the opposite direction, smaller than those above but with red three-fluked tails. In the space above the dolphins and flanking Oceanus/Neptune are two simple 8-petalled flowers; the space on the northern side is filled by two sea-creatures both with outstretched forelegs and coiled tails; the upper one has bold spots on a buff body to identify it as a sea-leopard. On the north side the space between the responds is occupied by four small square motifs, alternately guilloche knots and squares quartered diagonally and parti-coloured red and white, and two double fillets which link with the swastika-meander of the earlier period. On the southern side the swastika-meander of Panel A is continued by a narrower band of swastika-meander with single returns running in the opposite direction.
Panel A: this is a concentric scheme composed of a square frame containing a circle, all drawn in three-strand guilloche in dark grey-blue with strands of red, yellow and white; the strands interbraid where the circle and square touch. Fragment b) shows a bull shaded buff with red horns, part of the guillloche and two doves facing in opposite directions, with the one to the extreme left pecking at a dark blue-grey crosslet; to the far right is preserved the head of a cockerel,with its head turned upwards and scratching its comb with an upraised foot. Fragment c) preserves part of the hunt scene, in this fragment a hound (mainly ochre with a pale-grey underside, with a docked tail and ears pricked forwards) chasing a boar (executed in dark blue-grey and purplish-brown with tusks and a raised mane), separated by a tree with calyx-like foliage, part of the guilloche surround, and part of the outer border with three aligned birds, two doves (one with its tail truncated) and a cockerel; to the left of the birds is a roundel with an eight-petalled flower. Fragment d) preserves part of the inner hunt frieze showing a leopard (prancing forwards with tail erect, white wiith spots fromed by dark blue-grey circles, infilled with creamy grey), a complete tree with calyx-type foliage and parts of another; above is preserved the inner wave pattern and below part of the outer guilloche. Fragment e) depicts a hind and fragment f) a bear shaded purplish brown except for its dark blue-grey hump.
- Production date
- On display (G49/wall)
- Exhibition history
1985 5-12 Aug, Bath, Victoria Art Gallery, ASPROM International Colloquium on Ancient Mosaic
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number