Roman Bronze Greyhound Statuette


A fine Roman greyhound statuette cast from bronze. The animal is in a sitting pose with its hind legs bent and the front legs straight. Unfortunately both front paws and the left back paw are now missing. The anatomical features have been naturalistically rendered including the pointed ears and large snout. The dog’s head is raised high gesturing to the animal howling. The statuette has been mounted on a custom-made stand.

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: Very fine condition, patination is visible to the surface. Measurements for the statuette itself; 5.6cm height, 3.2cm width


SKU: LD-620 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. 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 54.9 g
Dimensions W 3 x H 7 cm



Reference: For a similar item,Bonhams, London, 3rd July 2019, lot 151

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