Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Bronze tintinabulum in the form of an ithyphallic Mercury with a cockerel-like head, holding a purse; the figure is hung with bells.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1stC
  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 20.2 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    See Jenkins's letter to Townley dated 27th February 1788: "... a Lucerna di Bronzo, i.e. a figure of Priapus, with a Cocks / head etc. Visconti describes it as follows....If from the description without seeing the drawings of both the bronzes if you wish to have them , the price of both is sixty seqs. the head and forty the figure or Priapus...." [TY 7/ 468 see also Townley's letter in reply TY 7/ 469].

    Jenkins to Townley 26th April 1788: "inclosed you have the desired sketch of the Priapus, by it you will see the part of the leg that is wanting. There are no restores...If I possibly can, shall bring the Priapus with me, the head is too large and must come in a case..." [TY 7/ 471].


  • Location

    On display: G1/fc20

  • Exhibition history


    2010, Jan - April, Nottingham, Lakeside Arts Centre, The University of Nottingham, 'Roman Sexuality: Images, Myths and Meanings'
    2014, Feb-May, Isle of Wight, Brading Roman Villa, Roman Sexuality: Images, Myths and Meanings

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: GAA2071

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