Roman marble ram statue among top lots in June 4 sale

A large Roman marble statue of a ram will lead a sale of ancient artefacts at Sotheby's on June 4 with a valuation of around $2m-3m.

The piece dates to early in the 1st century AD, but is thought to have been restored by the renowned sculptor Francesco Antonio Franzoni (1734-1818) - who worked extensively on the Hall of Animals in the Vatican.

Roman marble ram
The marble ram was created in the 1st century AD

In January this year, a pair of leopards believed to be the work of Franzoni sold for $523,428 at Christie's - a staggering increase of 25,596% on a $2,037 estimate.

Similar examples of ram sculptures from the period have been known to feature the figure of Odysseus clinging beneath in reference to the mythical figure's escape from the cave of the Cyclops, although this example does not appear to be from the same group.  

A marble head of a girl produced under the reign of the emperor Augustus, the founder of the Roman empire, is expected to make $800,000-1.2m.

The piece is thought to have been privately commissioned, possibly as a portrait of Livia, third wife of Augustus, mother of Tiberius and great grandmother to Caligula.

A range of lots from across the ancient world are offered in the sale, including an Egyptian limestone relief panel produced in Sakkara during the reign of Nefertiti (circa 2500-2480 BC) that is valued at $700,000-1m.

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