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Home > Auctions > 30th November 2021 > Large Roman Statuette of Goddess Ceres

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LOT 0065

Estimate
GBP (£) 10,000 - 14,000
EUR (€) 11,760 - 16,460
USD ($) 13,320 - 18,650

Sold for (Inc. bp): £8,890


Large Roman Statuette of Goddess Ceres

2nd-3rd century AD

A bronze statuette of Ceres (Greek Demeter), the goddess of agriculture and fertility, depicted standing and wearing a long sleeveless Ionic chiton with himation around the head, fastened on the left side of the body; wearing a tutulus on her head, the right arm raised to hold a staff, the left arm covered by a mantle, the left hand probably originally held a sheaf of wheat, sandalled feet partially visible; finely modelled face; mounted on a custom-made display stand. 535 grams total, 20cm including stand (8"). Fine condition.

Provenance
From the collection of a Kensington gentleman; previously in the Weber collection, 1980s; accompanied by an academic report by Dr Raffaele D’Amato and a positive metal test from an Oxford specialist; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10743-177409.

Literature
See Daremberg & Saglio, Dictionnaire des Antiquités Grecques et Romaines, Paris, 1873-1917, sub voce Ceres; see for a similar Roman statuette Reinach, S., Repertoire de la statuarie grecque et romaine, Paris, 1930, p.242, no.7, 243 no.1; for discussion on the use of such statues as Lares see Sharpe, H.F., ‘Bronze Statuettes from the Athenian Agora: Evidence for Domestic Cults in Roman Greece,’ in Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Vol. 83, no.1, January-March 2014, pp.143-187.

Footnotes
The Roman household shrine, or lararium, receives its name from the lares, the guardian spirits of the house and household, who were frequently displayed in the shrine as paintings or sculptures, in every part of the Empire. Studies of bronze statuettes found in Roman provinces have shown how regional variations of lararia figures reflected the mixed religious beliefs of the inhabitants. Domestic shrines with cult imagery comprising similar small statuettes have been found on the island of Kos, inside Roman-era age houses, where groups of statuettes included Aphrodite, Eros, Athena, Asklepios, Tyche, and Cybele.