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Home > Auctions > 5th March 2024 > Roman Bronze Isis-Fortuna Lar Statuette

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LOT 0161

GBP (£) 10,000 - 14,000
EUR (€) 11,680 - 16,360
USD ($) 12,670 - 17,740

Current bid: £7,250 (+bp*)
(3 Bids, Reserve not met)

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(3 Bids, Reserve not met)   |   Current bid: £7,250

8 in. (11 in.) (1.22 kg total, 20.5 cm high (28 cm high including stand)).

The goddess standing in contrapposto pose with her weight on her left leg, her right leg bent and pulled back; wearing an Ionic chiton and himation secured by a characteristic knot tied between her breasts, the folds cascading to the floor; the toes of her left foot emerging from below the flaring hem of her robe; her centre-parted wavy locks locks fastened with a band, pulled back in a chignon at the nape of her neck and surmounted by a tall modius; mounted on a custom-made display stand.

Acquired in Israel, 1990s.
Ex Sasson Ancient Art, Jerusalem.
with Christie's, New York, 13 December 2013, no.139 (US$ 50,000-$80,000).

Accompanied by a copy of the relevant Christie'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 search certificate number no. 12017-213617.

Cf. for a similar Roman statuette Reinach, S., Repertoire de la statuarie grecque et romaine, Paris, 1930, pp.247-248, 254 no.3, esp.261 no.1; similar item in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, under accession no.96.9.409 (Tyche-Fortuna); in the Walters Art Museum, accession no.54.943; for the typologies of Tyche cf. Boucher, S., Tassinari, S., Bronze Antiques du Musée de la civilisation Gallo-Romaine a Lyon, 1. Inscriptions, Statuaire, Vaisselle, Lyon, 1976, nos.20-21; Boucher, S., Recherches sur les bronzes figurés de Gaule Pré-Romaine et Romaine, Rome, 1976; for discussion on the use of such statues as Lares see Sharpe, H., F., ‘Bronze Statuettes from the Athenian Agora: Evidence for Domestic Cults in Roman Greece,’ in Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Vol. 83, no.1, January-March 2014, pp.143-187.

These statuettes were used in the service of domestic cults and reflect native Greek or Roman cult practices. The Roman household shrine, or lararium, received 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. This was prevalent in all the corners of the empire, also in the East and in Greece. Studies of bronze statuettes found in Roman provinces have shown how regional variations of lararia figures reflect the mixed religious beliefs of the inhabitants.