Hellenistic Fragment of a Monumental Ram’s Head

Culture: Greek
Period: 1st century B.C.
Material: Marble
Dimensions: 34 cm high
Price: 18 000 Euro
Ref: 3540
Provenance: Swiss private collection, Mendrisio, acquired in the early 1980s.
Condition: Unrestored. A monumental fragment of high quality.
Description: Spectacular marble fragment of a ram’s head. The animal with large, vigilant eyes which look out between heavy lids. The bulges under the eyes are masterfully modeled. Thick fur curls frame the forehead and the cheeks. The massive snout is rounded. Some remains of the horns are still preserved and give a hint of the former splendour of the statue. The head possibly belonged to an important mythological group of statues depicting the escape of Ulysses’ men from the cave of the Cyclops Polyphemus. Compare this to the figure of a ram in the Galeria Doria Pamphili in Rome. Possible is also that the head was an architectural part, e.g., a corner piece of a tomb altar, which must have been of significant size. See the altar in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York with the Accession Number 25.78.29. For the stylistics also see the famous ram’s head from the Norbert Schimmel (1905-1990) collection, auctioned with Christie’s London on 3 July 2019, lot 97. From a Greek workshop. Mounted.