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Home > Auctions > 1st September 2020 > Sarmatian Gold Goddess Riding Leocampus Mount

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LOT 0037

GBP (£) 12,000 - 17,000
EUR (€) 13,290 - 18,820
USD ($) 15,670 - 22,200

Opening Bid
£10,800 (EUR 11,959; USD 14,103) (+bp*)

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Sarmatian Gold Goddess Riding Leocampus Mount

Late 1st millennium BC

A gold disc mount with band of inset turquoise triangular inserts to the rim; a goddess, possibly Artemis, riding sidesaddle on the back of a leocampus with its fish-tail raised and mouth gaping, piriform cell before the face; four loops to the reverse. 74.41 grams, 64mm (2 1/2"). Fine condition.

Property of a London gentleman; previously acquired on the UK art market in the 1990s; accompanied by an independent specialist report and valuation by graduate gemmologist and jewellery expert Anna Rogers, GIA GG, BA, Gem-A, ref. no.163592/1/9/2020.
Cf. 'Mistress of Animals' plaque in Hampe, R. and Simon, E., The Birth of Greek Art. From the Mycenaean to the Archaic Period, Fribourg, 1981, plate 354, for type.
The leocampus was a mythical beast with the foreparts of a lion and the tail of a fish. It appears infrequently but is represented on a mosaic at the Baths of Neptune, Ostia, Italy.
Artemis was the goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, the moon, and chastity. Her worship was widespread in Greece and in the colonies such as Ephesus in modern Turkey. In Greek Archaic art she appears as Potnia Theron ('Mistress of the Animals'), a winged goddess holding beasts in her hands, such as a stag, eagle or lion.