Roman Bronze Applique of a Female Bust Representing ´Africa´
Culture: Roman, Ro-Imperial
Period: 2nd century A.D.
Dimensions: Height: 9.4 cm
Price: CHF 44000
German Art Market, acquired in 1995.
Excellent condition, with nice original surface and uniform dark green patina.
This applique was almost definitely attached to a piece of wooden furniture, perhaps as part of a fulcrum, of which not a trace remains. It was fixed to its support with nails that were inserted into the three, clearly visible holes on the shoulders and on the chest. The quality of this piece is very high, and it exhibits an overall concern for the richness of detail that is a testament to the care and skill of the bronzesmith. The hair, especially, is incised into a style with alternating waves and thick curls. The presence of the elephant headdress allows us to identify the woman as a personification of Africa, which was a Roman province at this time.
Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC), vol. I, Zürich, 1981, pp. 250-255, s.v. Africa.