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Home > Auctions > 25th February 2020 > Greek Male Centaur Chariot Fitting

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LOT 0073

GBP (£) 3,000 - 4,000
EUR (€) 3,520 - 4,700
USD ($) 3,910 - 5,220

Opening Bid
£2,700 (EUR 3,169; USD 3,523) (+bp*)

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Greek Male Centaur Chariot Fitting

2nd-1st century BC

A bronze fitting comprising a lobed base with attachment loop below, standing figure of a centaur with curved club resting on the shoulder, left foreleg raised and supported on a spigot, curved triangular-section arch connected to the rump terminating in a crescent over the figure's head; mounted on a custom-made stand, possibly a chariot fitting. 414 grams total, 22.5cm with stand (9"). Fine condition.

Property of a London gentleman; previously acquired on the UK art market in the 1990s.

See Langdon, S. Art and Identity in Dark Age Greece, 1100-700 BCE, Cambridge University Press, 2008; statuettes of centaur are visible in the Greek Art since the 8th century BC (Metropolitan Museum inventory number 17.190.2072) and continued in the Archaic (statuette of a centaur in Princeton Museum, 530 BC) and Hellenistic world.

The first attested image of a centaur dates from the 10th century, from Lefkandi, possibly representing Chiron, who trained the heroes Heracles and Achilles. By the 8th
century BC, centaurs, typically represented on pottery, were shown in wild areas, existing between civilisation and the natural world. There is no known representation of a centaur engaged in combat or violence. Susan Langdon argues that these Attic centaurs show 'positive masculine traits', as they were creatures which trained young boys to be men (Langdon 2008, p.106).