One of the most beautiful portraits in the collection (1) illustrates the artistic solutions that characterised the sculptural representation of the human face from the 2nd century AD. The iris of the eye is marked by a thin circle, and the pupil by two incised lines, giving greater emphasis to the gaze. The plastically modeled tresses are separated by deep notches which make distinct light and dark bands alternate on the portrait, while the beard is rendered by fine incisions recalling eiderdown.

This new kind of expressivity can also be seen on the divine head (2). The contour-like eyelashes of the youth (3) and the geometric panels of the face are signs of a slow decline of naturalistic representation: a process also discernible on the horse of the building tile (4).

The weights (5–6) convey a radically new concept of the human face. They depict Byzantine empresses, but are not portraits: they are representations of abstract imperial power, which is further emphasised by the sign of blessing. The large eyes emerge from the face, while the head and body are merely suggested by outlines. Christian bronze objects (7–8) show abstract, geometrically composed human figures. There is no focus on individuality: without their incised names, the praying saints could not be identified. These pieces date to the last phases of ancient art.