A Roman statuary white marble sarcophagus
Lot 209
A Roman marble sarcophagus
Sold for £36,000 (US$ 61,393) inc. premium
Auction Details
A Roman statuary white marble sarcophagus A Roman statuary white marble sarcophagus A Roman statuary white marble sarcophagus
Lot Details
A Roman marble sarcophagus
Circa 2nd century A.D.
Carved in high relief on the front panel with an elaborate mythological scene depicting the 'Rape of Persephone'; the scene on the left with a horse-drawn chariot, the horses rearing as winged Athena urges them on, behind her standing on the chariot, another female figure, probably Aphrodite, baring her breasts, while her drapery falls in folds partially extending around the corner to the end panel, a figure shown trampled underfoot by the horses, then a figure of Persephone shown on her knees, her hands held up in defence as Pluto grasps her from behind, two other figures with flowing drapery look on at the scene from behind, the scene on the right of the sarcophagus showing Persephone being taken by Pluto on a quadriga, a helmeted Athena and Aphrodite struggle with Pluto in an attempt to rescue Persephone, a diminutive winged figure above the chariot, another figure trampled underfoot, a further male figure, naked except for his chlamys to the right of the scene, another naked male figure in relief at the corner and extending to the end panel, over-turned baskets of flowers along the baseline; the two end panels decorated in low relief, the left end depicts a cursorily carved shield-bearing figure on the back corner, with two bound captives on the panel being led by another figure who merges into the front corner; the right end panel shows two shield-bearing gladiators in combat amid architectural elements, 51in. (129cm.) wide, 157/8in. (39.8cm.) deep, 13in. (32.8cm.) high, a section of the undercoated back panel missing 13 x 7½in. (33 x 19cm.), some chipping along the top edge and repairs; the side panels worn along the top edge, the right hand side of the front panel corner chipped, some wear to some of the figures

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    The property of a private collector, acquired about 8 years ago in London. It had previously been in a collection in America.

    Literature:
    Persephone, daughter of Demeter, was picking flowers in a meadow with her companions when she was observed by Pluto, the King of the Underworld. Pluto was so enamoured of her, because, according to Ovid he had just been struck by one of Eros's arrows, that he swept her away on his chariot to the Underworld. A feature of the myth typically derived from antique funerary art is that Athena, with Aphrodite and Artemis close behind her, puts a restraining hand on Pluto's shoulder as he is about to set off. The myth also tells of Demeter's subsequent wanderings in search of her daughter and of Persephone's return to earth each spring for one third of the year.
Activities
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Similar items
A Roman sarcophagus fragment with a lion head A large Roman marble urn A large Roman marble sarcophagus fragment A Roman marble sarcophagus fragment A Roman marble sarcophagus relief of Orestes A Roman marble head of Selene