• Antiquities auction at Christies

    Sale 5487

    Antiquities

    29 April 2010, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 91

    A ROMAN MARBLE HERM BUST OF A YOUNG SATYR

    CIRCA 1ST CENTURY B.C/A.D.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A ROMAN MARBLE HERM BUST OF A YOUNG SATYR
    CIRCA 1ST CENTURY B.C/A.D.
    His head tilted downwards, with bulging muscles in his neck, forehead with knotted brow, small eyes with deliniated lids and high arched eyebrows above, with rounded cheeks and dimpled mischievous smile, his unruly hair bound in a fillet, swept up at the forehead and spiralling from the crown in overlapping wavy locks, curling around his pointed ears at the sides, and sprouting out in thick tufts at the back, mounted on a Jaune de Sienne marble base
    11¾ in. (29.8 cm.) high


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    Such herms would probably have adorned the garden of a Roman villa. The boyish features and impish expression are reminiscent of the Hellenistic 'invitation to dance' group, whereby a young satyr tries to entice a seated nymph to join his dance, cf. M. Bieber, The Sculpture of the Hellenistic Age, New York, 1961, fig. 564. The group is attested by a coin from Cyzicus, fig. 565. The bust also bears a close ressemblance to the so-called Fauno colla Macchia in Munich, a head with similar expression and exaggerated features.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 17.5% on the buyer's premium.


    Provenance

    Castellani collection; sold Hôtel Drouot, Succession de Mme E. Warneck, Paris, 16 June 1905, lot 12.
    French private collection; sold Rossini, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, December 2007.
    Accompanied by a French passport and a photocopy of the 1905 illustrated catalogue entry.