A finely cast Ancient Roman bronze padlock featuring a hinged lid in the shape of double headed male figure (Janus). Each side (face) appears engraved in a stylized manner with wide open eyes and typical hairstyle. Earth encrustation and some corrosion cover the surface preventing the padlock to open.
Figural padlocks such as this beautiful example are interesting items of Roman everyday life, displaying the great skills in working bronze of Roman craftmanship. Padlocks of this type are believed to have originated from northeast Italy and then spread to other areas such as Britannia and Germania. The molded bronze male faces used to decorate figural padlocks were usually sterotyped, following the same features such as straight hair, usually combed straight down and worn in bangs.
No repairs or restoration has been done to this lock, Only very few of these types of locks have survived. This type of lock may be the very first keyed type padlock ever made. Only about 150 have been found. Very rare. For more information on this type of lock see the wonderful book: Romano-Celtic Mask Puzzle Padlocks by Jerry Slocum and Dic Sonneveld.
Condition: fine style with nice dark green patina.