Dogs tended to be kept for a specific function during the Roman period, such as guard dogs, watch dogs, or hunting dogs. But there is evidence that they were also kept as pets. Dogs were most often seen as household protectors, and it was said that a dog barking at nothing was a warning of the approach of Trivia, the goddess of graveyards and witchcraft, as dogs were always able to sense her presence. Perhaps the most famous visual representation of a dog in Ancient Rome is the ‘Cave Canem’ (“Beware of the Dog”) mosaic, at the entrance to the House of the Tragic Poet in Pompeii.
Roman Bronze Long-Haired Dog Statuette
A fine ancient Roman dog statuette cast from bronze. The animal is depicted sitting on its rump, its mouth agape. Despite the exposed sharp teeth, the dog’s lolling tongue and passive pose creates a playful and friendly image. The anatomical features have been naturalistically rendered including the pointed ears and long snout. Small incised lines across the body mimic the dog’s long coat.
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: Very fine. Mounted on a custom-made stand.
|Dimensions||W 2.5 x H 5.5 cm|
Reference: For a similar item,The British Museum, item 2001,0314.1