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Home > Auctions > 2nd June 2020 > Roman Bust of Goddess and Deceased

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LOT 0201

GBP (£) 18,000 - 24,000
EUR (€) 20,220 - 26,960
USD ($) 22,680 - 30,240

£16,200 (EUR 18,196; USD 20,411) (+bp*)

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Roman Bust of Goddess and Deceased

2nd-4th century AD

A carved marble bust of a goddess reworked in antiquity, holding the soul of a deceased man, depicted as a child, in her arms; the goddess wearing her hair in Antonine Roman style with wavy locks and braid arranged as a chignon at the nape of her neck, delicately carved lips and large eyes, wearing a draped palla and a ring on her left hand. 42.5 kg, 45cm (17 3/4"). Fine condition. An interesting piece with a fascinating past.

From a private collection of seals and amulets, the property of a Canadian gentleman living in London; previously with Pierre Bergé & Associés, Archéologie, Paris, 1st December 2011, lot 413 [€35,000.00 - €40,000.00]; formerly from his father's collection, acquired in 1991; accompanied by an academic report by Dr. Raffaele D’Amato; accompanied by a geological report No. TL5255 by geology consultant Dr R. L. Bonewitz; and copies of the relevant Pierre Bergé catalogue pages; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.155095-10031.
See Felletti Maj B.M., Museo Nazionale Romano, I Ritratti, Roma, 1953; Scrinari, V. S. M., Sculture Romane di Aquileia, Roma, 1972; Fittschen K., Zanker P., Brizzolara, A.M., Le sculture del Museo Civico Archeologico di Bologna, La collezione Marsili, Comune di Bologna, Bologna, 1986; Agnoli, N., Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Palestrina, Le sculture, Roma, 2002; Levick, B. Faustina I and II, Imperial women of the Golden Age, Oxford, 2014.
The bust represents interesting elements, showing a hairstyle typical of the time of Faustina the Younger (130-176 AD) probably being reworked during the 4th century AD, a period in which the imperial portraits and old sculptures were often reworked into simpler, popular images. What is left of the Empress is mainly the refined hair, parted in the centre of the forehead, creating two elegant series of side waves gathered at the nape in a chignon.