Roman Bronze Rabbit Statuette


A fine Roman rabbit statuette cast from bronze featuring the mammal in a crouching position holding a piece of food in between its front paws. The rabbit has been rendered naturalistically including its almond shaped eyes and long ears. The piece was previously an attachment shown by the vertical and horizontal piercings, which are now blocked from age.

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: Fine condition, encrustation and patination visible to the surface.


SKU: LD-590 Category: Tag:

Rabbits/hares were popular animals among the Romans, they were frequently used in hunting as prey. Ferrets would have been thrown into rabbit burrows to drive them out ready for the hunt to begin. For Pliny the Elder, rabbits were placed in the category with dolphins, bees and winged animals, they were neither tamed or wild, but somewhere in between (Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, 8.81). As rabbits are so fertile, they were associated with the goddess Venus but also with the goddess of hunting, Diana.

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

Weight 39.4 g
Dimensions L 3.3 x H 1.7 cm



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