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  • Several years ago I acquired this small Roman bronze of Minerva.

  • She was said , very reliably and plausibly, to have  come from an old Victorian collection. Indeed the surface is rather like the stripped and coloured surfaces of many bronzes in Victorian collections. That's how they often liked their bronzes, stripped and treated with Livers of Suphur.

  •  She was unfortunately decapitated after a fall onto a hard floor. Though refixed, bronze  disease broke out at the repair juncture. The discolouration of the head and neck is due to the treatment for the bronze disease. I could have darklened it again like the rest of it, but decided to leave it as it was.




  •  She seems to have lost her hands in antiquity. You can see the relatively sharp break surfaces which are also coloured black

And then over a period of about 18 months, on eBay.........


Oh dear me!


  • The previous owner, another dealer, who was insistent it was from a really old collection, re-examined it and came to the conclusion that it was and is entirely genuine. Personally, I'm not convinced!

  • But how to explain the sudden appearance of so many apparent replicas on  eBay?

  • Well, at first opportunity I bought one of them.

  • The hands missing, but as you can see from these pics, the smooth surfaces indicated that it was cast without hands.

  • Compare these surfaces with the sharper surfaces of the other, above.

They are so similar, apart from the size, that I'd say that  the second one has been made  from a mould taken of the first. When pieces are replicated in this way one does see a shrinkage in size; though in this case the shrinkage is rather more than I would have expected.

But the first one canot have been the master copy for the second as it's been here for a while and before that was apparenty in an old collection!


One can only presume that both come from the same family of moulds and that both are fakes.


There is a litlle industry starting up out there!

And of course, sooner or later this was going to happen!




April '10

I created the above about 18 months ago.

I now have interesting  further information to report.

Although my interim opinion wast that both the obvious fake and the much nicer one I had had here for some time were both fakes from the same "series"  I had continued to be unsure if the green one had been copied  from the black one.

Remember that the black one does seem to have  lost it's hands while the green one appears to have been cast from a mould made by one which already didn't have hands.

I  examined and photographed the two again ....

There are differences, in the bottom and in the way the helmet crest is formed.



Quite apart from similarities in small details.



But very significantly, there are small minor flaws on the black one which appear on the green one!



So what is really needed is ..............


    A further investigation into these two pieces>>>>


More  fake Roman bronzes I'm sorry to say............