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Home > Auctions > 30th November 2021 > Roman Jupiter Statuette with Silver Eyes

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LOT 0063

GBP (£) 15,000 - 20,000
EUR (€) 17,640 - 23,520
USD ($) 19,980 - 26,640

£13,500 (EUR 15,877; USD 17,982) (+bp*)

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Roman Jupiter Statuette with Silver Eyes

1st century AD

A bronze statuette of Jupiter depicting Zeus Brontaios, the Thunderer, modelled in the round after a statuette by Greek sculptor Leochares (mid 4th century BC); the god standing nude with his weight on his right leg, right arm lowered and left arm raised, originally holding a thunderbolt, now absent; the expressive face framed by curled hair and beard, the eyes inlaid with silver and hair tied back with a laurel crown; well-defined muscular torso and legs; mounted on a custom-made display base. 497 grams total, 18cm including stand (7"). Very fine condition.

Ex Sussex private collection; acquired from Gorny & Mosch, Munich, Germany, 17 December 2014; formerly acquired on the Bavarian art market in the 1990s; accompanied by a copy of the Gorny & Mosch invoice and catalogue pages, and an Art Loss Register certificate number 7944.CV dated 15 December 2014; 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.10894-181240.

See Leventi, 'Zeus' in LIMC, no.195a and Leventi and Machaira, 'Zeus' in LIMC, nos.243-244; Kaufmann-Heinimann, A., Die römischen Bronzen der Schweiz I, Augst, 1977, no.17; Christie's, Antiquities, New York, 4 June 2008, lot 255; cf. also The Metropolitan Museum, accession numbers 22.139.37 and 1997.159, for Jupiter figures in a similar style.

The statue of Leochares was brought to Rome during the reign of Emperor Augustus, where it was seen and described by Pliny the Elder, who called it Juppiter Tonans. Augustus dedicated a temple on the Capitoline Hill to this divinity, which served as the prototype for many more such statuettes. In all probability, this Roman copy was produced during the Principate of the same Augustus, or that of Hadrian or Antoninus Pius, when the taste for the Hellenic statue models reached its peak.