Ancient Roman Bronze Bust of a Noble Lady


An ancient Roman cast bronze bust of a female figure in the round. The woman is depicted with her head turned to the left giving the viewer a three quarter view of her face if viewed straight on. The figure’s hair is parted in the middle and tied in a chignon at the nape. Particular detail has been paid to the semi-naturalistic facial features and the drapery of her dress. The surface of the bust is covered with an attractive patination that enhances the figure’s features. Although most likely a portrayal of a noble lady, the small sculpture could also represent a bacchante or maenad, even if there are no visible iconographic elements directly linked to the cult of Dionysus. The bust comes with a custom made display stand.

Dimensions of the bust without the stand: c. H 8.5 cm x W 7 cm

Date: Circa 2nd century AD
Provenance: Late Alison Barker collection, a retired London barrister.
Condition: Very fine condition, with surface patination.

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Bronze objects were widely used in every aspect of ancient Roman life: bronze figurines and statuettes were significant in official and religious spheres, for instance as votive offerings.

Maenads in Greek Mythology were the female followers of the god Dionysus. They were the most significant followers of his retinue and were often accompanied by Satyrs. The term Maenad came from the Greek ‘maenades’, which translated as ‘mad’ or ‘demented’. They were often referred to as raging or frenzied.

Weight 419 g
Dimensions W 7 x H 10.3 cm



Reference: For a similar item, The British Museum, item 1824,0490.5

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