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Beautiful Roman Marble Sculpture -Winged Griffin

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Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 1st to 3rd century CE. A fierce marble sculpture of a griffin, depicted in a crouch, ready to spring, with his powerful back legs behind and his front legs bent above the paw. The heavy head is slightly turned, as if to face the viewer. The wings curl forward, almost touching the top of the head, which is decorated with a handsome crest and forelock. Incised lines create swirling feathers on the wings, a sharp beak, deep nostrils and mouth line, and individual claws. This sculpture likely once graced a grave marker or a wall decoration. The griffin (or gryphon) is a beast with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion; in Graeco-Roman mythology, they lived in the Rhipaean Mountains of Scythia and guarded rich gold deposits. This sculpture, wherever it was, would have signified wealth and opulence. Size: 6" W x 4.3" H (15.2 cm x 10.9 cm); 4.9" H (12.4 cm) on included custom stand.

Condition: Back legs are partially lost and were probably once part of a larger piece of marble (like a grave marker or wall decoration). Tip of wing is lost. Surface wear commensurate with age, with deposits overall, mainly in lower profile areas.

Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection

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