Small Roman Silver Cockerel Statuette

£ 195.00

A small Roman cockerel cast from silver featuring a standing bird with a slim body, large tail, comb and wattle. Its head is slightly cocked back, looking over its shoulder. Long incisions mark out the feathers along the wings and tail.

Please take note of the measurements.

Date: Circa 1st-3rd century AD
Provenance: ‘The Ancient Menagerie Collection’ formerly the property of a Cambridgeshire lady, collected since the 1990s and acquired from auctions and dealers throughout Europe and the USA, now ex London collection.
Condition: Excellent condition, slight chip to the base.


SKU: LD-570 Category: Tag:

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 2.17 g
Dimensions W 1.1 x H 1.4 cm