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Roman Panther Statuette Pair

Antiquities - Roman


LOT 0114

Estimate
GBP (£) 3,500 - 4,500
EUR (€) 3,940 - 5,070
USD ($) 4,720 - 6,070
Additional Fees*

Opening Bid: £3,500 (EUR 3,941; USD 4,723)
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ROMAN PANTHER STATUETTE PAIR
1st-4th century AD

A pair of bronze fittings in the form of advancing panthers, heads raised and turned to one side with mouths open; one front forepaw raised and detailing of fur over the entire body; standing on an irregular shaped base, one with rivet holes, and both with large domed lugs to the base with iron tangs below. 2.33 kg total, 15-18.5cm (6 - 7 1/4"). [2]

Condition
Very fine condition.

Provenance
Property of a gentleman; acquired in the late 1960s-early 1970s.

Footnotes
The panther was sacred to Bacchus (Greek Dionysus) and was believed to pull his chariot, most notably when he returned in triumph from India. These fittings could have come from a couch for use in a triclinium, or banquet room, and would have been an appropriate theme for feasting and drinking which was associated with Bacchus. They could also have formed part of the fittings for a bier used in religious processions for carrying a cult image of Bacchus on festive days. Such biers are known from wall paintings in Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as the description given in the Roman novel 'The Golden Ass' by Lucius Apuleius of the processions in honour of the goddesses Atargatis and Isis.

Date
Wednesday 13th September 2017
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Lot No. 0114

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