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CNG Feature Auction 117

Lot nuber 1098

ROMAN. Marble life-sized upper torso of a draped man. Circa 2nd-3rd century AD.

CNG Feature Auction 117
Lot: 1098.
 Estimated: $ 10 000


Sold For $ 6 500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

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ROMAN. Marble life-sized upper torso of a draped man. Circa 2nd-3rd century AD. In white Carrara marble, the bust depicts the lower neck, shoulders and upper chest of a man clad in a tunic and draped with a Greek-style mantle called a himation, which is pulled over both shoulders, twisted below the neck and tucked under in a manner often seen on statuary depicting philosophers. Dimensions: Height 41 cm (16”); width 48.25 cm (19”). Margarete Bieber, Roman Men in Greek Himation (Romani Palliati), and Contribution to Historic Copying, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society Vol. 103, no. 3 (1959), pp. 374-417, Fig. 51 (“model of a palliatus with veiled hands”). Light overall wear. The head is missing and a rough break appears at the neck truncation, with a raised area at the back and a deep indentation at the center, likely a socket enabling different heads to be used with the same bust.

From the Collection of a Connoisseur; ex J.D. Cahn A.G. Auction (Basel, 23 September 2005), lot 444; M.S. Arau Collection, acquired 1950-1960; exhibited at the Villa Albini in 1999, and the Romisch-Germanischen Museum Köln in 1990.

Although the shoulders and upper torso superficially seem to be wearing the Roman toga, the folds seen here, which wrap around both shoulders with a prominent twist in the middle, are different from those of the Roman toga, which traditionally left one shoulder free. The outer garment seen here is the Greek himation, a large rectangular mantle which could be wrapped, twisted and folded around the body in any number of ways. High-status Romans of both sexes, including emperors, often portrayed themselves in Greek-style dress to indicate their knowledge or love of philosophy. Statues of Romans so dressed are referred to as palliati; usually, but not always, the left hand emerges from the central twisted fold and rests upon the chest. This bust seems configured to serve as a standard base for different heads.

The final winners of all CNG Feature Auction 117 lots will be determined during the live online sale that will be held on 19-20 May 2021. This lot is in Session 4, which begins 20 May 2021 at 2 PM ET.

Winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and 22.50% for all others.

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