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Home > Auctions > 1st September 2020 > Roman Janus-Headed Sceptre

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LOT 0076

GBP (£) 6,000 - 8,000
EUR (€) 6,650 - 8,860
USD ($) 7,880 - 10,510

Opening Bid
£5,400 (EUR 5,983; USD 7,093) (+bp*)

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Roman Janus-Headed Sceptre

1st century BC-1st century AD

A sceptre comprising a slender round-section iron rod and bronze handle with bulb to each end, the finial a janiform bust of two female faces each with curls to the sides, cucullus head-covering and diadem with plate to the brow; mounted on a custom-made stand. 2.1 kg total, 70.5cm including stand (27 3/4"). Fine condition.

From an important London collection; previously with Bonhams, London, 13 April 2011, lot 149 (£10,000-£12,000); formerly in a private French collection, formed in the 1970s; accompanied by copies of the relevant Bonhams catalogue pages.
The Latin word sceptrum from which we derive 'sceptre' is based on the Greek σκῆπτρον denoting a staff or walking-stick. The janiform female bust is unusual and may represent e.g. the priestesses of Vesta in Rome.