Apolonia Ancient Art offers ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Pre-Columbian works of art Apolonia Ancient Art

Rare Archaic Greek Marble Griffon "Table Leg" Trapezophoros

browse these categories for related items...
Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Greek: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1327759
Apolonia Ancient Art
View Seller Profile
290 Fillmore St. #D
Denver, CO. 80206
303-321-7351 gallery

Guest Book

This rare Greek marble is the upper torso of a griffon, and dates to the Archaic Period, circa 6th-5th century B.C. This piece is approximately 14.5 inches high, by 5 inches wide, by 8.25 inches deep. This piece sits on a custom wooden stand, and together with the stand, it is approximately 17.75 inches high. This solid piece is quite heavy, and also rotates on the stand with a thick metal support pin. This piece has some chips to the mouth and to the right ear, otherwise the bust of the griffon is nearly complete. This piece is also missing the lower third section that was usually in the form of a lion's leg with a lion's paw footed base. This attractive and powerful looking piece has a light brown patina, and is a very decorative type piece. This esoteric piece was part of a table leg known as a "trapezophoros" that supported a table top with several other identical legs. The "trapezophoros" types are usually designed with panther or lion heads, and the rarest type is the griffon type, and only a handful of these examples are known. This piece has a bird-like mouth and tongue, with short ears and eyes, and eagle feathers seen on each side of the neck. For the ancient Greeks, the griffon symbolized the destroying power of the gods, and during the 5th-4th century B.C., it came to represent an anti-Persian symbol. A limited number of Greek gold staters, minted by Alexander the Great in Asia, had this symbol on the Corinthian helmet of Athena, which was seen on the obverse of this coinage. This symbol was also prevalent on Greek armor at the battle of Gaugamela in September 331 B.C., where Alexander the Great finally smashed the Persian army by decimating over 165,000, and it was this battle that forever defined the ultimate confrontation between the East and the West. In ancient Greek art, the griffon was also applied in the decoration of friezes, and the Romans followed this tradition, with one of the finest examples seen at the temple of Antoninus and Faustina in Rome. The piece offered here also has an open mouth and it exudes a lively look. An extremely rare to rare early Greek piece with a great deal symbolism. Ex: Private German collection, circa 1980's. Ex: Private New York collection. (Note: This piece has additional documentation for the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: