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A number of such medallions, similarly decorated with busts in relief, have survived. It has been suggested that they were lids for vases or small boxes, but it seems more likely that they were part of an elegant style of headdress made for wealthy clients.
Barr-Sharrar Beryl, The Hellenistic and Early Imperial Decorative Bust, Mayence, 1987, pp.
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Numerous examples can be found on Roman sarcophagi dating from the Imperial era.
The medallion has small rings on the upper edge and a hook on the back that were probably intended to attach the precious medallion to a base, since lost.
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It is decorated with rinceaux and a wreath of foliage set with garnets.