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Home > Auctions > 2nd June 2020 > Roman Bronze Sandalled Foot

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LOT 0168

GBP (£) 15,000 - 20,000
EUR (€) 16,850 - 22,460
USD ($) 18,900 - 25,200

Sold for: £93,750
(Inc. bp*)

Roman Bronze Sandalled Foot

1st-2nd century AD

A life-size hollow-formed bronze left statue foot wearing a solea sandal with elaborate strapping; open to the underside; probably part of a bigger statue of an actor or young slave. 2.9 kg, 28cm (11"). Fine condition.

Condition report [Click to show]

Property of a London gentleman; previously acquired on the UK art market in the 1990s; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.155099-10029; also accompanied by an academic report by military specialist Dr. Raffaele D’Amato.
See Sebesta J.L., and Bonfante L.,The World of Roman Costume, Madison, 2001; Van Driel-Murray C. Vindolanda and the dating of the Roman footwear, in Britannia, 32, pp.185-197.
The detailed bronze foot, wearing a possible variant of the Greek trochades sandal, known to be a traveller's sandal, is all that remains of this once monumental statue. The dimensions suggest that the statue to which it belonged was a nearly life-sized sculpture, possibly an actor or a young boy, favourite of a rich patronus. The sandals were removed before reclining for a feast and at the conclusion of the feast, the diners requested their sandals. To ask for one’s sandals (poscere soleas) was a way to announce to the host the intention of departing.