Roman Bronze Decorative Bust of a Young Man

SKU PF.5479

100 AD to 200 AD


5″ (12.7cm) high





Gallery Location

Hong Kong


Originally, this decorative ornament would have adorned a luxurious piece of furniture or perhaps a chariot. The work depicts the bust of a handsome young man rising out of a circular base with a scalloped border. A semicircular handle attached to the back would have been used to attach ropes or other such supports. It is possible that this bust might be a depiction of Antinuous, the tragic lover of Emperor Hadrian. Surely the idealized beauty of this figure would be fitting the legendary looks of Antinuous, looks that captured the heart of the most powerful man in the world. It is difficult to imagine how sumptuous the item this ornament once adorned must have been, be it a chariot or a chair. Surely the workmanship and materials would have rivaled this bronze. If it was attached to a piece of furniture, we can assume that the chair or couch would have been covered in the finest fabrics and likely studded with precious jewels and gems. Surely, such an extravagant ornament would have been reserved for the wealthy elite. This ornament gives us a tantalizing taste of the opulence of the Ancient Roman Empire

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