Photo courtesy of the Superintendency of Archaeology of Pompeii.

The owner of the Villa San Marco—like the owners of Stabiae’s other seaside villas—always erred on the side of excess, bringing as much ostentation as he could into his “trophy” home. The 9-inch-high ornament—called an antefix, used to conceal the joints between rows of tiles—was recovered from rubble found in the villa’s peristyle courtyard, which was constructed in imitation of the grand public architecture of ancient Greece.