Gaius Caesar bust up 149% on estimate at Bonhams

A Roman marble bust of Gaius Caesar achieved a 149% increase on its estimate when it sold at Bonhams' Antiquities sale in London earlier today.

The bust, produced in AD 5, made £374,500 ($604,780) against a valuation of £120,000-150,000 ($192,139-240,187).

Gaius (20 BC - AD 4), who was the adopted son of Emperor Augustus (63 BC - AD 14), was wounded in the battle of Artagira in AD 3, leading to his death the following year aged just 23.

Gaius bust Bonhams
Gaius died just a year after the bust was made

During his short life, Gaius took on the role of youth leader of the senate in 6 BC and was made commander of the East in 1 BC. Following successes in battle, he was made consul in AD 1.

A Greek marble head of a goddess dating to the Hellenistic period (3rd to 2nd century BC) achieved £62,500 ($100,931).

The carving features the oval face and lifelike rendering of hair that characterises the sculptures of the period.

Hellenic marble head
The head is likely to be a representation of Aphrodite or Artemis

A Canaanite silver and gold figure circa 2,000-1,500 BC also performed well, making £47,500 ($76,707).

The figure features a heavily stylised, elongated body, highlighted with gold, with one fist pierced to allow a weapon to be placed inside.

A Roman marbled glass snake realised £37,500 ($60,558).

Cast in translucent and marbled purple, white and amber glass, it would most probably have been used as an inlay in an item of furniture or a mosaic floor.

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