Sirens were depicted in the works of many ancient authors. In Greek and Roman mythology, they would lure sailors and passengers to their deaths by using their enchanting voices. Sirens were described to have had a female’s face with a tail of a fish or in some cases attributes of a bird. These beautiful maidens were said to have lived on dangerous rocks upon the seashore, very few sailors survived passage. In Homer’s Odyssey, the sailors were to muffle their ears however, Ulysses was committed to survive the sounds and thus tied himself to the mast on the boat so he was to not escape as seen on The Siren Vase in the British Museum.
Greek Bronze Siren Casket Leg
An extremely fine Greek casket leg in the form of a siren bust modelled in bronze. The siren is portrayed with her wings spread open, each finely rendered with incisions outlining the feathers. The facial features are portrayed in a stylized manner emphasising the large eyes and nose. Her bust leads to a long, narrow staff with an unadorned back. Beautiful green patination covers the surface of the piece.
Provenance: Ex London collection, SA Wembley (Middlesex)
Condition: Excellent condition. The piece has been previously cleaned, revealing the original bright colour of the bronze.