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Home > Auctions > 2nd June 2020 > Roman Mosaic with Aphrodite and Nymph Doris

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LOT 0212

GBP (£) 10,000 - 14,000
EUR (€) 11,230 - 15,730
USD ($) 12,600 - 17,640

Sold for: £21,250
(Inc. bp*)

Roman Mosaic with Aphrodite and Nymph Doris

3rd-4th century AD

A large rectangular floor mosaic panel in matrix comprising a mythological scene with the goddess of love, Aphrodite, wearing a transparent tunic and chlamys, a vine leaf crown resting on her locks, holding a sceptre with bells in her right hand; on her right side sea-nymph Doris, daughter of Oceanus, wearing a himation and a chlamys, naval crown on her head and holding a staff; to the left of Aphrodite, a bearded satyr or lesser divinity, a subligaculum wrapped around his waist, holding a shepherd's staff in his left hand, a panther at his feet; a Greek inscription 'ΔWΡΙϹ' (Doris), 'ѦΦΡΟϹ' (Afros, abbreviation for Aphrodite) and the name 'ΚΑϹϹΙΝΙΑ' (Kassinia) above the heads, guilloche pattern surrounding. 44.6 kg, 1.52 x 1.22m (59 3/4 x 48"). Fine condition.

From a private collection of seals and amulets, the property of a Canadian gentleman living in London; from his father's collection formed in the late 1960s to 1980s; 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.155096.
Cf. Olszewski, M.T., The iconographic programme of the Cyprus mosaic from the House of Aion reinterpreted as an anti-Christian polemic in Et in Arcadia Ego. Studia memoriae professoris Thomae Mikocki dicata, Dobrowolski, W., Płóciennik T. (ed. by), Warsaw: Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, 2013, pp. 207-239, Pls 74-86.
In the late Roman period, especially in the Greek speaking Eastern Provinces of the Empire, the mythological subjects of heroes and goddesses multiplied in the rich villas and public buildings. The presence of the goddess Aphrodite, born from the sea, together with the goddess Doris and a figure from a Dionysian procession, suggests that the mosaic was part of a bigger scene. The presence of the sea divinities together with Dionysus (Roman Bacchus) is well attested, in the famous mosaic of the House of Aion, in Paphos (Cyprus), from the mid fourth century.