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Home > Auctions > 16th December 2010 > Roman Bronze Eros Statuette

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LOT 417

GBP (£) 18,000 - 24,000
EUR (€) 21,360 - 28,480
USD ($) 23,260 - 31,010

(990 grams, 268 mm.).

Circa 1st century AD. A large bronze figure of a young winged Eros supporting a long-stemmed cornucopia with cinquefoil mouth (a lotus blossom?); the face rounded with full features and open nostrils; the eyes inlaid with silver points; the hair loose and framing the face, with characteristic triangular profile; the head thrown back and tilted upwards towards the cornucopia mouth; the neck adorned with a ropework collar bearing a decorated discoid pendant; the left arm extended to the hand supporting the upper part of the stem (old minor repair evident); the right arm bent and hand turned down to grip the end of the stem; the wings emerging from the back feathered and slightly spread; the legs straight and advancing on tiptoe; the base a waisted rectangle with lobed feet; the cinquefoil with central square-section spike.

See Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, No. 97.22.5, for a very similar but less attractive piece (with Eros holding a long branch).

Eros, usually considered to be the son of Aphrodite and Ares but, according to Plato's Symposium, conceived by Poros (Plenty) and Penia (Poverty) at Aphrodite's birthday, was the god of sexual attraction and beauty and was worshipped as a fertility god. His Roman counterpart is Cupid (Desire) and then is usually depicted with a bow and arrows.