2nd century AD. A bronze statuette of standing nude Venus (Greek Aphrodite) modelled in the round, the head slightly turned to the right, wearing a diadem, hands raised to hold her hair dressed with ringlets; folded clothing between her legs. 227 grams, 12cm (4 3/4"). Property of a gentleman; acquired in the late 1960s-early 1970s. Venus was one of the most popular deities to be represented in small scale sculpture for centuries across the Mediterranean world, and one of the most common to be found in household shrines. The goddess was not only associated with love, but also with fertility in both humans and nature, and was regarded as a protector of the crops under her Etruscan name of Turan. She was also considered to be a mother goddess who protected her devotees under the name of Venus Genetrix. She was the mother of Aeneas, from whom Julius Caesar claimed descent, and was thus the progenitor of the whole Julio-Claudian dynasty.