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Home > Auctions > 22nd February 2022 > Large Roman Bronze Statue of Serapis

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LOT 0103

GBP (£) 60,000 - 80,000
EUR (€) 72,020 - 96,030
USD ($) 81,690 - 108,910

Opening Bid
£54,000 (EUR 64,818; USD 73,517) (+bp*)

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Bid History: 0

Large Roman Bronze Statue of Serapis

1st century BC-1st century AD

A bronze statuette of Jupiter-Serapis, standing with his weight on his left leg, his right knee bent as if striding, wearing sandals, a chiton tunic and cloak himation, the ample folds of which are draped about his lower limbs, over the left arm and over the left shoulder, a corn modius crowning the god's head; mounted on a custom-made display base. 2.59 kg total, 36cm high including stand (14"). Fine condition.

Private collection of Nicholas Koutoulakis, before 1985.
With Sotheby’s, London, 17-18 July 1985, lot 248.
Royal Athena Galleries.
Louis Beck collection, New York, USA, 1985.
Royal Athena Galleries, 1987.
Jose de Albuqerque collection, Almadora, Portugal, 2006.
Royal Athena Galleries, 2010.
Accompanied by 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 AIAD certificate number no.11031-183989.

Eisenbery, J., Art of the Ancient World, Vol. XXII, 2011, no.168.

Cf. Michaelis, A., Ancient Marbles in Great Britain, London, 1882, pp.258, 327, 349, 350, 367; Comstock, M.B., Vermeule, C.C., Greek, Etruscan and Roman Bronzes in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1971, no.125.

A previous statue made by the Hellenistic sculptor Bryaxis had been the model for this statuette and the successive iconography. The statuette is possibly based on the statue of Jupiter Serapis from the macellum at Pozzuoli near Naples. The discovery of this statue of Serapis led to the building being misidentified as the city's serapeum or Temple of Serapis. The statuette was a type well known in the Roman Empire. The standing Serapis, in all his variations, including the type of the Soane bronze at Sir John Soane's Museum, was classified by Michaelis in 5 groups, using the evidences of statuettes, reliefs, and mainly Alexandrine coins of the earlier Imperial period: 1) holding sceptre, with altar beside; 2) right hand raised and also with sceptre 3) left arm raised, right hanging down. 4) holding the sceptre in the right hand, the left arm being enveloped in the cloak 5) Serapis standing with patera in right hand, cornucopia in left, a type found in several iconographies including paintings from Pompeii. The third group is best exemplified by the bronze in the Museo Archeologico, Florence, popular in the Empire, especially on coins of the third century, and probably corresponds to our statuette.