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Lot 0058A
Rome, Imperial Period, ca. 1st to 3rd century CE. A miniature sculpture depicting Venus (Greek Aphrodite) - the Olympian goddess of beauty, love, pleasure, sexual rapture, and fertility - finely carved from deer bone - standing in the nude upon an integral ovoid plinth, holding her robe in her left hand over her pubis, the fabric's voluminous folds cascading over her lower body, and a mirror in her right hand over her breast - the mirror a symbol of her ideal beauty or a critique of vanity. Custom stand. Size: 4" H (10.2 cm); 4.5" H (11.4 cm) on included custom stand.

The sculptor of this piece delineated the beautiful goddess of romantic love with the utmost sensitivity and skill. She is depicted in a frontal pose, her attractive coiffure parted at the center and swept back along the contours of her diadem, arranged in a twist at the nape of her neck, her long, wavy locks meticulously delineated with flowing tresses. The goddess' elegant, oval face is meticulously modeled so as to present a naturalistic visage with a rounded forehead, large and generously lidded almond-shaped eyes, a fine browline that arches gracefully and merges with the bridge of her nose, a soft rounded chin, and full, bow-shaped, pursed lips.

Venus/Aphrodite has inspired countless depictions throughout art history, among the most famous, Attic sculptor Praxiteles's "Aphrodite of Knidos" (ca. 360 to 330 BCE), the equally famous "Lely's Venus" (ca. 100 to 199 CE), Alexandros of Antioch's "Venus de Milo" ( 130 to 100 BCE), the Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli's masterful painting "Birth of Venus" (1484-86), Baroque artist Peter Paul Rubens' equally masterful "Judgement of Paris" (ca. 1636) painting, and Renaissance master Titian's "Venus with a Mirror" (1555 CE).

Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection

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Stable hairline fissures (probably due to ossification) to the head, one forearm, one hand. Tiny nicks to base. Nice lustrous patina.

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Beautiful Roman Bone Statuette of Venus

Estimate $3,000 - $4,500Oct 12, 2017