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Home > Auctions > 4th June 2024 > Roman Bronze Statuette of Helios-Alexander

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LOT 0115

GBP (£) 1,000 - 1,400
EUR (€) 1,170 - 1,640
USD ($) 1,270 - 1,780

Current bid: £550 (+bp*)
(14 Bids, Reserve met)

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(14 Bids, Reserve met)   |   Current bid: £550
6 1/8 in. (583 grams total, 17.5 cm including stand).

The god standing nude on an ivy-leaf base in contrapposto pose with right arm extended and hand held palm-outwards; mantle pinned at the right shoulder and wrapped around the bent left arm; the head held erect with soft rounded facial features and luxuriant curls, diadem with radiating spikes representing beams of light; mounting stud to the reverse; mounted on a custom-made display stand. [No Reserve]

From a collection acquired on the UK art market from various auction houses and collections mostly before 2000.
From an important Cambridgeshire estate; thence by descent.

Exhibited at Harwich Museum, Harwich, Essex, UK, 14th March-9th June 2024; accompanied by a copy of a photograph of the artefact on display.

Cf. Durham, E., Metal Figurines in Roman Britain, vol. 2, Reading, 2010, pl.60, for a full-length figure from Lakenheath, England, with similar features; cf. also De Ridder, A., Les bronzes antiques du Louvre, 1, Les figurines, Paris, 1913, p.129, pl.62, no.1059, for identical.

The cult of Helios-Apollo intensified in the third century A.D. and the adoration of Sol Invictus, with the radiate crown, was often linked to that of Mithras, the god of legions, whose symbol was the bull. Under Emperor Aurelian, the Sol Invictus became the main god, protector of Rome and the Roman state.