Greek or Roman
Late Hellenistic or Imperial Period
about 100 B.C.–A.D. 180


Height: 17.8 cm (7 in.) Mount: 3.3 x 7.1 cm (1 5/16 x 2 13/16 in)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Michael C. Ruettgers Gallery for Ancient Coins (Gallery 212C)


The Ancient World



The bearded god with long hair flowing back alongside his face has his right leg raised and bends forward to rest on it with his left forearm. His left arm is raised high in the air. His right arm and right lower leg are missing, and his left hand is corroded. The figure is the well-known Lateran Poseidon type. Our statuette would originally have placed his right foot on some elevation, probably an outcropping of rock.
The Lateran Poseidon himself places his foot on a ship’s prow, and many other Roman Neptunes have a dolphin, which they hold in their right hand or step on with their right foot. The general character of our bronze is so Hellenic that it is very unlikely that it had any of these characteristicallyl Roman touches.
The proportions and degree of detail in the anatomy of our piece, however, is so similar to those of the Lateran Poseidon that a second century date also seems possible for our piece.


By date unknown: with Mathias Komor, 19 E. 71st St., New York, NY 10021; February 14, 1972: purchased by Dr. and Mrs. Edgar Preston Richardson, Philadelphia, PA from Mathias Komor; by December, 2002: with Sotheby's, 1334 York Ave., New York, NY 10021 (auction N07858, New York, December 11, 2002, lot 53); purchased at Sotheby's auction on behalf of MFA and Mr. and Mrs. George Krupp by Brian Aitken, 535 E. 72nd St., New York, NY 10021; partial purchase by MFA from Brian Aitken, June 25, 2003

Credit Line

Collection of Lizbeth and George Krupp and the Benjamin and Lucy Rowland Fund