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With hair like this, you can rule the world …

November 15, 2011

UPDATE 1 – Sale price including the buyer’s premium: $3,544,500.

UPDATE 2 – And, thanks to CultureGrrl, here’s a view of the work at it’s new home, the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

And being named Zeus sort of seals the deal … the fall auction season continues in New York with Antiquities at Sotheby’s on December 8 … Sixty-nine lots are offered including this intriguing fellow …

LOT 12 - View 1 - A MARBLE HEAD OF ZEUS AMMON, ROMAN IMPERIAL, CIRCA A.D. 120-160, Height from base 19 in.,Estimate $800,000-1,200,000. UPDATE - Sale price including the buyer's premium: $3,544,500

LOT 12 - View 2 - A MARBLE HEAD OF ZEUS AMMON, ROMAN IMPERIAL, CIRCA A.D. 120-160, Height from base 19 in.,Estimate $800,000-1,200,000.

Here’s a portion of the catalogue description, full listing here:

The present head is one of the most striking and sensitively-carved known representations of the tutelary deity of Alexander the Great. The cult center for the oracle of the Greco-Egyptian god Zeus-Ammon was at the Oasis of Siwa, in the Libyan desert. This is where Alexander made his pilgrimage in 331 B.C and asked the god a question which remains unknown but can be guessed through the answer he received. According to his historians the priests of Zeus-Ammon interpreted the movements of the cult statue, as it was was being danced in a gilded boat by attendants in the temple’s court, and replied by confirming Alexander as the legitimate king of Egypt and a divine being in his own right.

Subsequently the profile head of Zeus Ammon began appearing on Alexander’s coins. Even though the present head is known to have been on the market in Rome in the early 1930s, it might not necessarily originate from Italy. When the Art League of Daytona Beach received it as a gift from Mrs. King it came with the story that it had been found at the mouth of the Nile; it may therefore reflect an image created in Egypt shortly after Alexander’s consultation of the oracle, when he came to consider himself as the son of Zeus Ammon, thus greatly increasing the god’s renown.

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