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Home > Auctions > 4th June 2024 > Roman Bronze Figure of the Goddess Flora

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LOT 0114

GBP (£) 4,000 - 6,000
EUR (€) 4,700 - 7,040
USD ($) 5,100 - 7,650

Current bid: £2,000 (‡+bp*)
(1 Bid, Reserve not met)

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(1 Bid, Reserve not met)   |   Current bid: £2,000

10 1/8 in. (617 grams total, 25.7 cm high including stand).

A rare depiction of Flora standing holding a separately cast garland in her left hand, wearing pointed shoes, a long tunica talaris and a himation as a veil over her head, her hair surmounted by a diadem decorated with rosettes and falling in long wavy tresses in front, the pupils of her eyes indented; mounted on a custom-made tiered base.

From an Egyptian family collection, Alexandria and Cairo, acquired in the early part of the 20th century in Egypt and Europe, and transferred from Egypt to northern European family residences in the early 1950s.
Northern European private collection, by direct descent from the above in the 1970s.
Acquired from the above by the previous owner in 2002.
with Sotheby’s, New York, 5 June 2013, no.88.
German private collection.

Accompanied by copies of the German cultural export licence and copies of the relevant Sotheby’s catalogue pages.
Accompanied by an academic report by Dr Raffaele D’Amato.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by a search certificate number no.12042-216438.

Cf. Daremberg & Saglio, Dictionnaire des Antiquités Grecques et Romaines, Paris, 1873-1917, sub voce Flora, p.1189; see for a Roman prototype the Flora Capitolina, Museo Capitolino, Stanza del Gladiatore, no.14, inv. no.743 in Negrete Plano, A. (ed.), Anton Raphael Mengs y la Antigüedad, Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando; Fundación Mapfre, Madrid, 2013, pp. 170-171.

Statuettes like the present one were used in the service of domestic cults and reflected native Greek or Roman cult practices. The Roman household shrine, or lararium, receives its name from the lares, the guardian spirits of the house and household, who were frequently displayed in the shrine, either in painted or sculpted form.