Small bronze statuettes of mice were commonplace in Ancient Rome. The fine modelling and insightful details that could have only come from careful observation reveal Roman sympathy towards these animals. They may have served as household decorations, ornaments for larger objects, or votive offerings. Since they often sit on their haunches and hold or gnaw on seeds or nuts it is possible that they acted as apotropaic images used to guard food stores.
Roman Bronze Mouse Statuette
A finely cast Ancient Roman bronze statuette of a mouse. The tiny creature is depicted on all fours with the front paws brought close to the mouth as if nibbling at food. The animal has pointy ears and a long straight tail. Fine details like round eyes, open mouth and marks imitating fur add greater naturalism.
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 good condition. Damage to the left ear, some earthly encrustations and patination to the surface.
|Dimensions||L 6.6 x W 1.2 x H 2.1 cm|
Reference: For a similar item,The British Museum, item 1867,0508.803