Lot 47
  • 47

A Roman Marble Group of Two Lovers, circa 1st/2nd Century A.D.

180,000 - 220,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • A Roman Marble Group of Two Lovers
  • Marble
  • Width 36 cm.; height 18 cm.
the woman reclining and grasping with her left hand the cushion on which she leans; no restorations.


Bernard Daydé (1921-1986), acquired in the 1940s

Catalogue Note

Marble sculptures in the round of human couples engaged in actual lovemaking appear only rarely in Roman art.

Three other examples are known: one at Hever Castle, acquired by William Waldorf Astor from Attilio Simonetti in Rome in the early 20th Century (P. Arndt and W. Amelung, eds., Photographische Einzelaufnahmen antiker Skulpturen, Serie VII, 1913, no. 2018, and S. Dimas, et al., Die Antikensammlung von Hever Castle, Bignor Park und Knole, 2013, p. 55f., no. He13, pl. 16, with restored heads), one in the Glyptothek in Munich, inv. no. 259 (A. Stähli, Die Verweigerung der Lüste: Erotische Gruppen in den antiken Plastik, 1999, pp. 408-413, fig. 116), and one formerly in the collection of Julien Gréau in Paris until 1891 and on the American art market in 1921 (Stähli, op. cit., pp. 414-415, figs. 121-122). The latter's whereabouts are currently unknown.

For a closely related scene in relief on an early Hellenistic bronze mirror see Museum of Fine Art Boston, inv. no. RES.08.32c.1-2. (M. Comstock and C. Vermeule, Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes on the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 1971, no. 309, p. 257).