Roman bronze tripod foot with Dionysos
Foot of a folding rack with Dionysos figurine
2nd - 3rd century A.D.
Foot of a (probably 3-legged) folding rack, shaped as Dionysos standing on a splayed lion's or panther's paw. Hexagonal profiled base. Dionysos is naked with an animal fur draped over his shoulder. On his back, he is carrying a harvesting basket which served as connection point to the Tripos leg. For a reconstruction drawing of similar furniture, as well as a detailed discussion of their use in antiquity, see the reference below.
Height without base 172 mm, with base 256 mm
Extremely well preserved, detailed piece of ancient art wth beautiful patina. Front lower part of base broken, otherwise undamaged. Mounted on a modern wooden base.
Compare the simpler piece pubished in M. Kohlert-Németh, Archäologische Reihe, Römische Bronzen 1, aus Nida-Heddernheim, Fundsachen aus dem Hausrat (Frankfurt 1990) p. 31 Nr. 9 (chest on paw only, no figure)
Acquired 2020 in a British auction house. From the collection of a former British university professor, acquired at Bonhams in 2013. Ex New York, USA, collection Joseph Klein, acquired between 1941 and 1980.
The Klein family, originally from Warsaw but living in Paris since quite some time, was among the last refugees who left from Europe to the United States aboard the SS Excalibur before the attack on Pearl Harbor. In the USA, the Klein's settled in New York City, where they re-established their family luxury leather goods business which was already flourishing in Paris at 32 Union Square.
Already in the 1940s Joseph Klein began to build his collection. His broad range of interest covered both ancient East and West, thus including in his collection selected specimen from ancient China, Egypt, Greece and Rome, as well as artefacts from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
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