Ancient Roman Bronze Cockerel Figurine


A Roman bronze figurine/attachment in the shape of a cockerel. It features a slender body with a flaring tail which used to attach onto a larger object. The cockerel features wide open eyes, a crest curving slightly backwards and a large tail, curving downwards. Incised decoration indicates the bird’s facial features, feathers and plumage. It comes with a perspex stand for display.

Date: Circa 1st - 4th century AD
Provenance: Ex major S.M. private collection, Mayfair, London, acquired in 1970-99.
Condition: Fine condition.


SKU: AG-43 Category: Tags: , , ,

Cockerels were a popular choice of imagery for the Romans; they were part of daily life in the empire, with their crows signalling the start of each new day. They were also associated with the messenger god, Mercury, and additionally would be carefully observed by priests and augurs as their behaviour was believed to provide omens. As such, cockerels may also have been associated with divine guidance and good fortune. Bronze statuettes were popular across the Roman Empire, usually modelled in the shape of gods, goddesses and animals. Such statuettes could have been part of private households or placed in temples as votive offerings. Interestingly, during the Roman Empire, the Asia Minor region was famous for its cast metal sculptures.

For more information about the meanings of animals in Roman art, see our relevant blog post: Animal Symbolism in Roman Art.

Weight 8.8 g
Dimensions L 4.5 x W 2.8 cm



Reference: For similar item, see The British Museum, London, item number: 1814,0704.280

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