• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2007

    Antiquities

    4 June 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 247

    A ROMAN MARBLE DOLPHIN SUPPORT

    CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A ROMAN MARBLE DOLPHIN SUPPORT
    CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.
    Well-modelled, the head down, the undulating tail upraised, the flippers and dorsal fin rendered, the almond-shaped eyes bulging, the nasal sacks drilled, the beak parted revealing two rows of teeth, on a high integral plinth, the remains of support struts and an iron pin on the proper right side, likely for attachment to a separately-made figure
    26 3/8 in. (67 cm.) high


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    The dolphin often accompanies Venus, alluding to her birth from the sea. For sculptures where the dolphin serves as the goddess's support see the Medici Venus now in the Uffizi Gallery and examples in the Palazzo Colonna and the Museo Nazionale in Rome, nos. 419 and 424-425 in Delivorrias, et al., "Aphrodite" in LIMC.

    Provenance

    with Jean Mikas, Paris, 1950s.
    European Private Collection.
    Anonymous sale; Christie's, New York, 8 June 2005, lot 160.