A ROMAN BRONZE VOTIVE RIGHT HAND
PROPERTY FROM A CONNECTICUT PRIVATE ESTATE
A ROMAN BRONZE VOTIVE RIGHT HAND

CIRCA 3RD-4TH CENTURY A.D.

Details
A ROMAN BRONZE VOTIVE RIGHT HAND
CIRCA 3RD-4TH CENTURY A.D.
Naturalistically-rendered, the little, ring and middle finger raised, the index and thumb supporting a small sphere between them, the bearded god Sabazios resting on the palm, depicted with his right foot atop a bull's head, wearing a short tunic, cuirass, pteryges, greaves, and a Phyrgian cap, a small downturned dagger in his fisted left hand, his right arm raised, his hand wrapped around a now-missing attribute, a sword hanging from a baldric at his right hip, a perforation to the back
5 ¼ in. (13.4 cm.) high
Provenance
with Ariadne Galleries, New York.
Private Collection, Connecticut, acquired from the above prior to 1987; thence by descent.
Sale room notice
It seems likely that this bronze depicts Jupiter Dolichenus rather than Sabazios as suggested in the catalog.

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Lot Essay

Sabazios was a Phrygian god who came to be associated with the Dionysiac Orphic mysteries in the Roman period. Votive hands were notably associated with his cult. A syncretistic god by nature, Sabazios' attributes included the Phyrgian cap of Attis and the orb and thunderbolt of Jupiter. In the present example he also holds a short dagger and stands atop a bull's head, adding in elements of the the cultic god Mithras to the his eclectic iconography. For a related example see no. 313 in D. Mitten and S. Doeringer, Master Bronzes from the Classical World. For more on the subject see R. Gicheva, "Sabazios" in LIMC, vol. VIII.

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