Vesta was the Roman goddess of the hearth and home, a leading deity in the Roman pantheon whose cult expressed and guaranteed Rome’s permanence. According to tradition, the worship of Vesta can be traced back to the founding of Rome, as it was believed to have been introduced and established by Romulus or Numa Pompilius. Her temple was located in the Roman Forum and entry to it was reserved to the goddess’ priestesses, the Vestals, who tended to the sacred fire placed within it. They committed to the priestesshood before puberty and sworn to celibacy for a period of 30 years, with the punishment of being flogged and buried alive should they fail to maintain their purity. Regarded as the protector of the Roman people, Vesta’s festival, the Vestalia, run from the 7th to the 15th of June and were considered one of the most important holidays in Ancient Rome.
Ancient Roman Decorative Bronze Finial with Vesta
An Ancient Roman bronze finial featuring a statuette of the Roman goddess Vesta, mounted on a cylindrical, waisted pedestal. Often depicted as an austere woman, the goddess is here portrayed wearing long voluminous robes, with her head covered by an uplifted shawl. She stands on a globe in a slightly advancing stance, as she lifts her arms and wields a sceptre in her right hand and a torch in her left. The statuette displays an expectational retention of detailing to the facial features, which are rendered in a naturalistic manner. Some brown and green patination remains on the surface.
Please note that the cylindrical pedestal comes separate from the statuette.
Condition: Fine condition.