Roman Bronze Steelyard Weight of Mars

£ 900.00

An Ancient 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.

Date: Circa 1st-3rd Century AD
Provenance: Ex. Israeli collection, 1970's.
Condition: Very fine, intact, patinated with chipping and encrustations over the whole.
Product Code: RES-04
Category: Tags: , ,

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.

To learn more about everyday bronze items in the Classical World, visit our relevant post: Everyday Items in the Classical World.

Dimensions H 7.9 cm
Region

Southern Europe

Metal

Bronze

Roman Mythology

Mars, Minerva

Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum, accession number 59.184.

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