• Antiquities  auction at Christies

    Sale 2232

    Antiquities

    11 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 150

    A ROMAN PARCEL GILT SILVER PATERA

    CIRCA 1ST HALF OF THE 1ST CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A ROMAN PARCEL GILT SILVER PATERA
    CIRCA 1ST HALF OF THE 1ST CENTURY A.D.
    The deep bowl lathe turned, with a rounded ring foot, two grooves on the interior encircling the tondo, two grooves and a beaded band below the rim, the tondo finely engraved with a krater on a high pedestal with an elaborate ivy vine issuing forth, details of the krater, pedestal and leaves gilt; the handle with curving arms merging with the bowl in the form of swan heads with long beaks, the eyes gilt, the upper surface of the flat waisted handle with relief decoration composed of intermingling ivy and grape vine with large distinguished leaves and bunches of fruit, a krater at the base of the handle with fruit above the rim, rosettes and volutes on either side
    9½ in. (24.1 cm.) long


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    The patera, also known as a sauce pan in modern scholarship, is widely found throughout the Roman Empire from the 1st-4th centuries A.D. It is thought that the main function was the service of liquids, which is supported by the predominance of the bronze examples often being paired with strainers and ladles. Its use as a cooking utensil has also been suggested. The silver examples traditionally are adorned with decorative elements along the handle, including highly ornate figural compositions. For an analysis of the type and a chart of the development of the handle shape, see pp. 145ff. in Strong, Greek and Roman Gold and Silver Plate.

    Provenance

    German Private Collection, acquired prior to 1988.