Statuette of the Personification of a City, Copper alloy, Late Roman or Byzantine

Statuette of the Personification of a City

Late Roman or Byzantine
Copper alloy
Overall: 10 1/16 x 5 11/16 x 4 1/16 in. (25.5 x 14.4 x 10.3 cm)
Metalwork-Copper alloy
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1947
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 301
Tyche, the personification of chance or fortune, was also understood as the protector of cities. Linked to civic pride and well-being, she appeared in a range of media, including coins, stone reliefs, glass bottles, and stone and copper-alloy sculptures. Here, Tyche sits on a low throne. Wearing a mural crown, chiton, and peplos, she holds a cornucopia in her left hand. She extends her right hand, which held a now-missing attribute, possibly a staff. It is difficult to identify which city is represented by the statuette, but regardless, the sculpture is representative of the small-scale Tyche images found throughout the late Roman and early Byzantine worlds.
Said to have been found in Rome; Mme. Edouard Warneck, Paris (sold Hôtel Drouot, June 13-16, 1905); [ Arthur Sambon, Paris (sold Galerie Georges Petit, May 25-28, 1914)]; Robert Rousset(sold 1947); [ Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York ( sold 1947)]
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The Middle Ages: Treasures from The Cloisters and The Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 18, 1970–March 29, 1970.

Chicago. Art Institute of Chicago. "The Middle Ages: Treasures from The Cloisters and The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 16, 1970–July 5, 1970.

Trier, Germany. Rheinisches Landesmuseum Trier. "Konstantin der Grosse: Imperator Caesar, Flavius, Constantinus," June 2, 2007–November 4, 2007.

Collection E. Warneck – Objets d'art antique: Marbres, Bronzes, Terres Cuites, Ivoires, Verrerie et bijoux. Paris: Hôtel Drouot, June 13–16, 1905. no. 115, pl. XI.

Catalogue des Objets d'Art et de Haute Curiosité, de l'Antiquité, du Moyen Age, de la Renaissance et Autres [...] formant la Collection de Arthur Sambon. Paris: Galerie Georges Petit, May 25–28, 1914. no. 81, p. 23, ill.

Sambon, Arthur. Exposition de sculpture: Sculpture comparée de l'Antiquité, du Moyen Âge et de la Renaissance. Paris: Arthur Sambon, 1928. no. 68, pl. XXXVII.

Sambon, Arthur. Aperçu général de l’évolution de la sculpture depuis l’Antiquité jusqu’à la fin de XVIe siècle. Paris: Bibliothèque du Musée, 1931. pp. 36–37, pl. XXXIII.

Miner, Dorothy, ed. Early Christian and Byzantine Art: An Exhibition Held at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Baltimore: Walters Art Museum, 1947. no. 205, p. 57, pl. XXXV.

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Ross, Marvin C. "A Silver Treasure from Daphne-Harbie." Archaeology 6, no. 1 (Spring 1953). p. 39.

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Ostoia, Vera K. The Middle Ages: Treasures from the Cloisters and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1969. no. 7, pp. 26–27, 252.

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Matheson, Susan B. "The Goddess Tyche." In An Obsession with Fortune: Tyche in Greek and Roman Art, edited by Susan B. Matheson. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1994. no. 63, pp. 25–26, 117, fig. 10.

Kalavrezou, Ioli. Byzantine Women and their World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Art Museums, 2003. pp. 43–44, ill.

Demandt, Alexander, and Josef Engemann, ed. Konstantin der Große: Imperator Caesar, Flavius, Constantinus. Trier: Konstantin-Ausstellungsgesellschaft (Rhineland Palatinate/Diocese of Trier/City of Trier), 2007. p. 172, CD-ROM: I.15.15.