Panther Trapezophoros

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A decorative domestic element that formed part of a circular table with three legs. The piece is a foot of a table or mensa delphica trapezophorus with the form of a feline leg showing the talon. The piece is decorated in the upper end with the head of a panther emerging from acanthus leaves.

The piece is incomplete, as the leg of the table is missing. The head is carved in great detail with gaping jaws and an aggressive expression. The back of the head has a smooth surface with the support for a table-top attached. The head is joined to the leg with a degree of fantasy, as the leg ends up in acanthus leaves from which the head of the animal emerges.

In ancient Rome owning furniture was a mark of distinction. Most of the population would have lived with only the most basic items, predominantly fashioned from wood. For the aristocracy, however, furnishings were handcrafted from the most durable materials such as marble and finished with fine decorative details. Their furnishings achieved a level of sophistication and artistry.

PARALLELS:

- Sotheby’s. New York. Antiquities. 11 June 2010. Lot 45.
- Sotheby’s. New York. Antiquities. 7 June 2012. Lot 52.

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