Large Bronze Handle with Poseidon, Hippocampus and Cetus

Culture: Roman
Period: 1st-2nd century A.D.
Material: Bronze
Dimensions: 33.2 cm long
Price: Sold
Ref: 3333
Provenance: Old English private collection, acquired in the 1970s. Thence on the English art market.
Condition: At the bottom of Ketos’ body an old break, suggesting that the handle possibly had another extension.
Description: Very large and rare handle of solid bronze, depicting on one end the nude god Poseidon. He stands on the back of the Hippocampus, half horse half fish, and holding on to the right ear of the chimera. The left hand is raised behind his head and possibly once held the trident. The Hippocampus in a wildly snorting pose, with pulled-up forelegs and open mouth. Fine details of the fur and fish scales were added in cold work. The Hippocampus’ hind part of the body is twisted and finishes in a tail fin, followed by a profiled tubular handle. Then another tail fin, as well as a twisted fish body with finely depicted scales. At its end sits the highly raised head of the sea monster Cetus. Cetus with a dragon head has its ears highly raised and a beaklike closed mouth. The extremely high-quality worked out handle has at the bottom of the Hippocampus a hinge and could possibly been turned around on a shaft. Possibly the present object could also have been a part of a scale at a fish market. Mounted.