• Antiquities  auction at Christies

    Sale 2232

    Antiquities

    11 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 144

    A ROMAN BRONZE HERCULES

    CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    A ROMAN BRONZE HERCULES
    CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.
    The muscular hero depicted nude, standing with his weight on his right leg, the left relaxed and bent at the knee, his lionskin draped over his left forearm, his club held in his left hand and leaning against his left shoulder, his right arm extended forward, perhaps once holding a drinking cup, his head turned to his right, with a full beard and short curly hair, standing atop a raised rectangular plinth with tongues along the overhanging upper molding
    6¼ in. (15.9 cm.) high


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    This is a version of the so-called "Herakles Bibax." The hero would originally have held a drinking cup (a skyphos, kantharos or rhyton) in his outstretched right hand. According to Boardman (p. 766 in "Herakles," in LIMC), "the drinking cup recalls Herakles' association with Dionysos and his participation at divine banquets and hence immortality. To the Romans the skyphos also contained an allusion to Herakles' passage to the West, sailing the sea in the golden cup of the Sun, and his return through Rome which provided the opportunity for the establishment of his cult at the Ara Maxima."

    Provenance

    German Private Collector, 1990s.
    New York Art Market, 2003.
    with Charles Ede, London, 2005.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF MR. & MRS. CHARLES W. NEWHALL, III


    Literature

    J. Ede, "In the Footsteps of Hamilton -- Collecting Classical Antiquities" in The International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show, 2005, fig. 9, p. 26.