Roman Bronze Dog Statuette


A fine Roman dog statuette cast from bronze. The animal stands on all four legs with its head raised and its tail curled. The anatomical features have been naturalistically rendered including the pointed ears and long snout. Small incised lines across the body mimic the dog’s fur. The dog stands upon a narrow rectangular base.

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, encrustation and patination is visible to the surface.


SKU: LD-571 Category: Tag:

Indeed, dogs tended to be kept for a specific function during the Roman period, such as guard dogs, watch dogs, or hunting dogs. But there is evidence that they were also kept as pets. Dogs were most often seen as household protectors, and it was said that a dog barking at nothing was a warning of the approach of Trivia, the goddess of graveyards and witchcraft, as dog were always able to sense her presence. Perhaps the most famous visual representation of a dog in Ancient Rome is the ‘Cave Canem’ (“Beware of the Dog”) mosaic, at the entrance to the House of the Tragic Poet in Pompeii.

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

Weight 30.7 g
Dimensions W 3.9 x H 3.9 cm



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