Appliqué with the Head of Pan

Unknownabout 100 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Carved in relief from a large elephant tusk, this ivory applique represents a head of Pan, the woodland god, who combines human and goat-like traits. A fillet or ribbon encircling the crown of Pan's head holds his fleecy curls off his face. A curved horn carved from a separate piece of ivory was inserted into the channel drilled near the top of his head. This representation depicts Pan with a scowl distorting his features. Such a display of emotional intensity is characteristic of the finest Hellenistic sculpture.

The hole drilled through Pan's cheek indicates that the relief was attached to another object, probably the lower end of the fulcrum, a headrest of a kline or couch. Ancient literary sources record that the finest furniture was elaborated with inlay and attachments made of ivory, a rare and expensive material, although little survives today.


  • Title: Appliqué with the Head of Pan
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: about 100 B.C.
  • Physical Dimensions: 8.9 × 7.6 × 2.7 cm, 0.086 kg (3 1/2 × 3 × 1 1/16 in., 0.1896 lb.)
  • Type: Applique
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Ivory
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 87.AI.18
  • Culture: East Greek
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Creator Display Name: Unknown
  • Classification: Implements (Object Genre)

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