Eros is first shown riding a dolphin in Greek art during the 5th century B.C. on vases (Attic and South Italian), on bronze mirror covers, gems and in terracotta. In the earliest depictions he is a young adult rather than a child (see nos. 159-184 in A. Hermary, et al., "Eros" in LIMC). His Roman counterpart Cupid can be shown riding on a dolphin or other sea-creatures on gems, coins, mosaics, wall-paintings and on marble sarcophagi (see nos. 398-419 in Blanc and Gury, "Eros/Amor, Cupid" in LIMC). The present example may once have adorned the fountain of a Roman villa.