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X-Rare & Tinned Roman Bronze Legionary Armor Plaque with Standing Mars

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Roman: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1339702
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290 Fillmore St. #D
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This extremely rare piece is a Roman bronze armor plaque that dates circa 2nd-3rd century A.D. This piece is approximately 4.75 inches high, by 2.2 inches wide at the top, and the high relief of this piece is about .25 inches. This striking piece has a beautiful dark green patina with some spotty dark red highlights, along with some spotty light to dark green mineralization seen mostly on the backside of the piece. In addition, this piece has some spotty gilt "tinning" seen in various sections of the front side of the piece. This piece was likely fitted into an armored cuirass below a shoulder plaque, and this cuirass likely had duplicate pieces that were also fitted into the cuirass on the other side of the chest. This piece may also have been interwoven into the fabric of the cuirass, and there is a square attachment slot seen at the bottom of the piece. This piece was hand beaten over a mold, and depicts a very muscular standing nude Mars holding a shield on the ground with his left hand, and in the right, he is holding and leaning on a spear. He is also seen wearing a helmet, and has a cloak draped over his arms. The muscular Roman war god Mars is also seen standing over a sea-panther with a coiled tail, and the entire scene is framed by a dotted border. There are very few Roman plaque armor examples such as the piece offered here, and most plaques are fragmentary, and are not complete and intact as the exceptional piece offered here. In addition, the majority of Roman armor was constructed with several bronze pieces which attached to a leather and/or fabric cuirass, and most of these sectional bronze pieces are individual finds. This piece is also in mint to superb condition, and has no repair/restoration, cracks, or chips. This type of piece is also analogous to another example that depicts the nude Roman war god Mars standing over a sea-panther, and is seen in Christie's Antiquities, "The Axel Gutmann Collection, Part I", London, Nov. 22, no. 87. (See the attached photo of this piece which is a shoulder plaque that is approximately 5.5 inches high, by 2.8 inches wide, circa 2nd-3rd century A.D., $6,300.00-$9,300.00 estimates.) For this type of armor, see M.C. Bishop and J.C.N. Coulston, "Roman Military Equipemt", London, 1993, pp. 139-142. This piece is mounted into a custom Plexiglas stand, and can easily be removed. Ex: Harlan J. Berk collection, Chicago, Ill., circa 1980's. Ex: Private Austrian collection, circa 1990's. (Note: additional documentation is available to the purchaser, including EU Export and US Customs Import documentation.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: