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  • image SC15

An owl: a fragment from a statuette or ornament


Length: 2.5cm

Museum number: SC15

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 438help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

An owl with wings half spread and legs drawn up so the claws appear against the chest. The smallness of this fragment suggests that it may have been the attribute held in the hand of a statue of Minerva (the owl is the symbol of Minerva) or perhaps the subsidiary ornament of a semi-functional bronze object.

A random comparative example of the former is the owl held on the outstretched hand of a bronze statuette of Minerva from Herculaneum now in the Museum of Naples1. The most celebrated bronze statuette of Athena with an owl held thus is the Athena Elgin, now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York2.

1 Maiuri, Herculaneum, p.110.
2 Conze, in Festschrift für Benndorf, p.175f., pl. IX.

Provenance help-art-provenance


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