ROMAN EMPIRE | RIGHT ARM
circa 1st Century A.D.
from a nearly life-size figure, bent at the elbow, the clasped hand with extended thumb and two quadrangular sockets inside for insertion of a now missing attribute, the fingernails finely delineated, two holes in the outer part of the upper biceps
length: 46.5cm., 18¼in.
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The bronze is a fragment and broken off at the upper arm. There are one larger and one smaller hole just below the fragmentation. There is a small lacuna above the inside elbow. There is oxidation to the bronze, leading to a greenish appearance, and a coarse, encrusted surface. Some further general wear including surface scratching. There is some denting to the biceps.
With a modern metal stand. Overall height including stand: 27.5cm., 10¾in.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Paul Munro-Walker (d. 2016), Bournemouth, Dorset, acquired on the London art market, 1978
Virgilio Costantino Vecchi, V. C. Vecchi & Sons, London, acquired from the above on 3 May 1983
Private collection, United Kingdom, until 2019
The arm was cast separately from the rest of the figure and broke off directly below the shoulder, into which it would have been socketed and soldered into place. The complete figure could have been a youth holding a lamp or tray (http://www.getty.edu/publications/artistryinbronze/large-scale-bronzes/8-mattusch/) or possibly Artemis shooting her bow (see Mattusch, op.cit., 1996, cat. no. 35).
For a clasped bronze right hand with two bridges inside for securing of an attribute see Gorny & Mosch, Munich, Auktion. Kunst der Antike 214, June 19th, 2013, no. 23, illus. Also see C. Mattusch, ed., The Fires of Hephaistos: Large Classical Bronzes from North American Collections, exh. cat., Cambridge, Mass., 1996, p. 226, cat. 23, fig. I, a bronze right hand clasping a hollow quadrangular socket in the Tampa Museum of Art, inv. no. 86.142.
For a Greek bronze panoply with similar provenance in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, acc. No. 2017.228a–d, see https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/748484.