ROMAN BRONZE STEELYARD WEIGHT OF MARS

£900.00

Measurements: 7.9 cm - height − height

 

Description: A Roman cast bronze steelyard weight in the form of a helmeted head, possibly of Mars or Minerva, with clearly defined facial features. It is more likely to be a depiction of a god than a goddess, as there is no visible female coiffure under the helmet. The suspension loop is pierced through the helmet's plumage. The figure wears a crested Attic helmet with an eagle finial, and is beard-less. Bronze weights were used as counterbalances on sets of steelyard scales, and are often found cast in the form of male and female busts. As a way of imparting authority to the weight, they often depict deities or emperors who assured the customer of an honest and fair transaction, especially Minerva as the goddess of commerce and trade. The item is mounted on a custom-made brass stand with felt lining.

 

Provenance: Ex. Israeli collection, 1970's.

 

Reference: Portable Antiquities Scheme

Sir John Soane's Museum London

 

Period: 1st - 3rd century AD

 

Condition: Very fine, intact, patinated with chipping and encrustations over the whole.

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