Trying to Identify a Statuette - Best Guesses?

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Trying to Identify a Statuette - Best Guesses?

Postby Basileus on Mon Feb 10, 2003 3:29 pm

Dear All,

A selfish request, but I am interested in purchasing an item on an Internet site, described as a "Roman Goddess" bronze. It is obvious by the vendor's description that he or she is not very knowledgable about the item, so there is little point asking any further questions there.

The statue(tte) looks to me very like a Greek caryatid (arms close the the body, a plinth-like construction on her head) but the robes might just as well be Roman. What really throws me is the inscription, "KAPYATIE". This apparently is on the front of the base and "X.E.M." is incised on the back. Still looks Greek to me, but I can't find mention of any such a) historic figure b) mythological figure or c) artist in my reference books. And Roman isn't my forte, I'm afraid!

Bearing in mind the vendor's typos, the above inscription might not even read correctly, but any ideas on the matter would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance,

Basilisk :wink:


Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Mon Feb 10, 2003 7:36 pm

Hi Basilisk,

The transliteration of the Greek "KAPYATIE" is "CARYATIE" which is close to the caryatid that you already identified on sytlistic grounds. "Caryatie" may be an inflected form of "Caryatid" (I don't really have any knowledge of Greek) or it could be a typo.

No idea about XEM.

The piece is probably a small reproduction that someone bought on a trip to Greece or Turkey. I don't know of any examples of original works from antiquity with the word caryatid inscribed on a statue with that form.

Buy it if you like it and not for any investment or collector value.

Primus Aurelius Timavus
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Postby Basileus on Tue Feb 11, 2003 5:48 pm

Dear Tergestus,

Very many thanks. Your logic sounds quite sound to me!

My chief interest in settling the matter was because (without knowing the language) I am a Greek buff, and my spouse (without knowing Latin) favours the Romans. Looks like the statuette will be a gift to myself, and I'll have to find something else for the better(?) half!

My Latin is pretty poor, but I think it's probably safe to wish you bene volens (sic?)

Basilisk/Basileus/Regulus :D

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