Ancient Roman Bronze Appliqué of Socrates

£ 650.00

An Ancient Roman bronze appliqué depicting the bust of Socrates. The Greek philosopher is portrayed with his characteristic strong facial features: a frowning forehead and prominent brows, a broad nose and deep-set articulated eyes. Thick wavy hair are moulded on the sides of his balding pate, whilst a full beard and moustache frame his lips. The piece is mounted on a custom stand.

The measurements provided below are inclusive of the stand, the bust itself measures: H 3.6cm x W 2.5cm.

Date: Circa 1st – 3rd Century AD
Provenance: From the late Alison Barker collection, a retired London barrister; from her collection formed early 1960s-1990s.
Condition: Fine condition. The appliqué has been attached to the stand using glue.


SKU: MG-238 Category: Tags: ,

Appliqués such as this example, would have likely served as the emblema (centrepiece) of a bowl or a piece of furniture. It was a custom for the Ancient Romans, especially among the wealthier classes, to have highly decorated everyday life objects, such as jewellery boxes or toiletries tables. The subject of such decorations could vary between portraits of women, to depictions of gods, or natural elements and animals.

Regarded as the founder of Western philosophy, Socrates (Σωκράτης; 469-399 B.C.) remains an enigmatic figure, known mostly through the accounts of his students, particularly Plato and Xenophon. Their work, written in the form of dialogues, uses the character of Socrates as an investigative tool to examine subjects and approach different areas of philosophy, including rationalism and ethics. While in life, he was recognised as a controversial figure and often figured in the comedies of his contemporary Aristophanes, ‘The Clouds’ produced in 423 B.C. being the best-known example. 

Weight 31.6 g
Dimensions W 2.5 x H 5.7 cm



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