Seller: artemisgallery (673) 100%, Location: Louisville, CO, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 381620217829 Rare Roman Alabaster Tortoise - 1st C. BCE/CE Rome, ca. 1st century BCE to 1st century CE. This is a piece of alabaster that has been carved into a tortoise; the body is carved out on its underside to maintain the translucence of the alabaster. Surface cracks and light carving give the suggestions of shell patterns and flippers. The tortoise features in one of Aesop's fables with Zeus, where he gave her her shell as a punishment for not attending his wedding; this story would certainly have been known to the the Romans, and the late 4th century CE Roman author Servius tells a slightly different version of the story, suggesting that the tortoise was a common figure. On the battlefield, the Romans also used the testudo formation (testudo is Latin for tortoise): aligning their shields to cover their front and heads and clustering close together as they advanced, as if with a tortoise shell. Size: 7.75" L x 3.9" W x 2" H (19.7 cm x 9.9 cm x 5.1 cm) #112790 Condition: Dirt encrustation; one flipper is slightly chipped; there is natural wear to the alabaster but it gives the piece a nice texture. Provenance: Ex- Private New Jersey collection acquired before 1990 All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back. All items come with a Certificate of Authenticity Powered by eBay Turbo Lister The free listing tool. List your items fast and easy and manage your active items.