An Ancient Roman cast bronze steelyard weight in the form of a helmeted head with clearly defined facial features, possibly representing Mars or Minerva. 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. The item is mounted on a custom-made brass stand with felt lining.
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.