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Roman Bronze Chariot Mount w/ Swans & Face

Lot 0133
**Originally Listed At $3000**

Roman, Imperial period, ca. 1st to 4th century CE. A large cast bronze chariot mount with decorative swan heads and necks forming its arms around a wide, tapering column capped by a relief human face. The face has childlike features and parted hair, demonstrating a high level of detail; the remaining swan head is less detailed, more of a functional form with an added face than a specific sculpture. The column is hollow, allowing it to be attached to the top of a chariot. Reins would be placed through the curves of the swans' necks before passing through individual terrets (rings for guiding them) for each horse. Size: 7.55" W x 5.4" H (19.2 cm x 13.7 cm)

Roman chariots were not used for warfare, but instead in circuses and in triumphal processions. As a result, elaborate attachments like this became de rigeur, lending a unique look to each chariot, where they were mounted on posts above each wheel. The carriage was supported by leather straps wrapped around the shaft and guided by the projecting arms. This absorbed the vibrations of the wooden wheels, making the ride smoother. Imagine the sun flashing off of the dark, polished bronze that this would have had when made!

Provenance: private Houston, Texas, USA collection

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One swan beak is lost, as shown. The rest of the item has some small nicks and chips commensurate with age. Pretty mottled turquoise patina on surface.

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Roman Bronze Chariot Mount w/ Swans & Face

Estimate $1,800 - $2,700Oct 17