11 December 2009,
New York, Rockefeller Plaza
Price Realised USD 112,900
Estimate USD 8,000 - USD 12,000
A ROMAN ALABASTER BUST OF SERAPIS
CIRCA 2ND CENTURY A.D.
With thick, wavy locks framing the finely carved face, including the characteristic five curls across the forehead, the full beard parted into two larger central curls, the mustache extending over the upper lip, the head surmounted by a modius decorated with olive branches; mounted on a later bust and socle
Head: 8.5 in. (21.6 cm) high
On bust and socle: 14 in. (35.6 cm) high
New York +1 212 636 2000
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G. Max Bernheimer
+1 212 636 2245
Molly Morse Limmer
The origins and development of the cult of Serapis are obscure, but it is generally accepted that the deity was introduced by Ptolemy I in an effort to unite the native Egyptian and Greek communities. Indeed, Serapis embodies aspects of several different deities including the Egyptian gods Osiris and Apis and the Greek gods Dionysus and Hades. Another theory proposes that the god was brought to Egypt by Alexander the Great.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 14 February 1955, lot 84.
PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF MR. AND MRS. HOWARD K. SMITH