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Superb Roman Bronze Attis Applique with Lively Face

Superb Roman Bronze Attis Applique with Lively Face


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Roman: Bronze: Pre 1492: Item # 1224239
Apolonia Ancient Art
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290 Fillmore St. #D
Denver, CO. 80206
303-321-7351 gallery

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 $7,685.00 
$7,685.00

This superb Roman bronze of Attis dates circa 2nd-3rd century A.D., and is approximately 5 inches high by 3.5 inches high. This piece is in superb to mint condition, and is complete with no repair/restoration. This piece also has silver inlaid eyes which add to the lively and animated facial expression of this exceptional Roman bronze. This piece also has a beautiful dark green patina with some minute black mineral deposits, fine hair detail, and a finely designed Phrygian cap. There is a round hook at the back of the neck which may have been attached to a suspension chain, as this piece may have been part of a suspended bronze vessel or a furniture object. There is additional detail with incised dotted decorative crosses and line work seen on each side of the Phyrgian cap, which is also an attribute associated with the deity Attis. The head of this piece is also modeled in the round, and extends slightly forward from the lower bust, and this is another indication that this piece was likely attached to a rounded vessel. In addition, the majority of Roman applique pieces are not modeled in the round in the upper section like the example offered here, and simply have an open end at the back of the head. This piece therefore has a dual design, not only as an applique, but it is also designed like a Roman portrait bust. According to Phyrgian and Roman myth, the youth Attis was madly loved by the Phyrgian goddess Cybele, and she loved him so jealously that she could not bear him marrying the nymph Sagaritis. When Attis later proposed to Sagaritis, in a rage, she made him go out of his mind, and he castrated himself and died from his wound. Cybele, struck with grief, revived her dead lover and the pair were worshipped together throughout Phrygia and the Roman world. In a Lydian version of the myth, Attis is not killed by his castration, but by a wild boar, like Adonis. For the myth of Attis and Cybele see: "Gods and Mortals in Classical Mythology" by Michael Grant, New York, 1979. The lively and animated face seen on this appealing piece, reveals the mad love that Attis had for Cybele and Sagaritis, and as such, this piece displays a high degree of art. This piece hangs on a custom black plexiglas and steel stand, and can easily be removed. Ex: Private German collection, circa 1980's. Note: Additional documentation is available to the buyer. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: