Roman Bronze Attacking Panther Mount

£ 200.00

A fine Roman bronze mount fragment featuring an attacking panther. The feline is depicted biting into the nape of its prey, probably a lamb or a calf. The heads of the animals as well as the body and musculature of the panther are naturalistically rendered with particular attention paid to different textures.

Date: 1st-4th 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, the fragment is covered with patination and encrustation to the surface. The back is unworked.

In stock

SKU: SK-116 Category: Tags: ,

In the Ancient Roman and Greek mythologies and cultures, panthers were considered to be the faithful companions of the wine god Bacchus, or his Greek counterpart Dionysus. The panthers were sacred to the god, who is often depicted riding them on sculptures, mosaics and wall paintings. The Dionysian thiasos (procession) was one of the favourite subjects in Ancient Roman art. It featured the god and his wife Ariadne at the centre, surrounded and followed by various animals such as panthers, lions, tigers and creatures such as satyrs and nymphs. Exotic and wild animals were associated with the wild and uncontrolled nature of this god.  Panthers were far from a mythological beast, however, and would have been a familiar sight across the Roman Empire. The ‘venationes’ (“hunts”) and other ‘spectacula’ (“shows”) of ancient Rome saw exotic species (including panthers, elephants, and bears) procured from all corners of the Roman Empire – a conscious demonstration in itself of the nation’s extensive reach and authority – and placed in the amphitheatre for gory entertainment.

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

Weight 37.89 g
Dimensions L 7 x W 3.6 cm



Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, item 1988.113.1, .2

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