A Roman marble head of Zeus Ammon
Lot 41
A Roman marble head of Zeus Ammon
Sold for £12,500 (US$ 20,733) inc. premium
Auction Details
A Roman marble head of Zeus Ammon A Roman marble head of Zeus Ammon A Roman marble head of Zeus Ammon A Roman marble head of Zeus Ammon
Lot Details
A Roman marble head of Zeus Ammon
Circa 1st Century A.D.
With deeply drilled thick beard, a curling moustache and flowing wavy hair, with curving ram's horns at either side of the head, the top and back of the head with two drill holes, presumably for attachment of a crown, now missing, 6½in (16.5cm) high, mounted

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Hoffman & Josephine Roberts Philip Collection, California, USA, acquired by Hoffman Philip in the early 20th Century and thence by descent.
    Hoffman Philip was prominent in the US diplomatic service and in 1909 became the first United States Ambassador to Ethiopia, where he was posted to the court of King Menelik II of Abyssinia. His postings in the Near East included Turkey (circa 1910-16) and Persia (circa 1925-26) and it is thought that the head was acquired during this time.

    Literature:
    Zeus Ammon is the Hellenised form of the Egyptian deity Amun, characterised by the ram's horns on the side of the god's head. Alexander the Great made a pilgrimage in 331 B.C. to the great Oracle of Ammon at the Oasis of Siwa in the Libyan desert, and subsequently styled himself as the son of Zeus Ammon. His later portraiture depicts him with ram's horns, even using the profile head of the god on his coins.

    For a similar example in the British Museum, inv. 1867,0508.99, cf. F. N. Pryce and A. H. Smith, Catalogue of Greek Sculpture in the British Museum, I-III, London, 1892.
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    Specialist - Antiquities
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