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Home > Auctions > 6th September 2022 > Monumental Late Roman Marble Military Eagle

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LOT 0123

Estimate
GBP (£) 30,000 - 40,000
EUR (€) 35,870 - 47,820
USD ($) 36,540 - 48,720

Opening Bid
£27,000 (EUR 32,281; USD 32,888) (‡+bp*)

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Bid History: 0
MONUMENTAL LATE ROMAN MARBLE MILITARY EAGLE
CIRCA LATE 3RD-4TH CENTURY A.D. OR LATER

A colossal eagle statue or pillar cap carved in the round in white marble, gripping a round-section perch on a rectangular plinth base with concave sidewalls, the eagle modelled standing facing with head turned slightly left, wings closed, stylised detailing to the bird's massive talons, feathers and hooked beak. 42 1/2 in. (100 kg, 1.08 m).

PROVENANCE:
Ex private European collection, acquire by the current owner in 1997.
Accompanied by an academic expertise by Dr. Raffaele D'Amato.
Accompanied by scholarly note TL05438 by Dr Ronald Bonewitz.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate no.11313-189915.

LITERATURE:
Cf. Bell, G.L., Amurath to Amurath, London, 1911, fig.3, p.10; Mendel, G., Catalogue des sculptures grecques, romaines et byzantines, Constantinople, 1914, nos.1135 (1949), vol.III, p.369, for similar sculptures of colossal eagles; Demir, O., La Cappadocia, culla della Storia, (The Cappadoce, cradle of History), Ankara, 1985, p.14, for a similar colossal eagle statue in marble at the Kayseri Museum.

FOOTNOTES:
These colossal statues of eagles, typical of the Tetrarchic Period, warned the enemies of the power of Rome and symbolised the presence of the emperor and military power in front of the Empire’s citizens, especially in the most problematic provinces, like Egypt, Syria and Mesopotamia, which were exposed to the influence and to the attacks of the rival Sassanian Empire or to the predatory raids of Nomadic tribes. They were also cult statues in front of which incense was burned in honour of the emperor.

CONDITION