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Sculpture Busts

Bust sculptures refer to figurative sculptures that portray the upper portion of the human figure: head, neck, shoulders, and part of the chest. Ancient Romans embraced and evolved this art form, adapting it to various points in their cultural history.

The development of Roman portraiture, including bust sculptures, was tied closely to the development of Roman society and government. In its early uses, portraiture was closely associated with funerary settings. In this context, the upper classes would often display portrait masks to memorialize their distinguished ancestry, thereby celebrating a family history of public service while honoring their family.

In the time of the Roman Republic, public sculpture became more popular. It was common for honorific statues of political or military officials to be erected in celebration of their achievements. During the reign of Augustus (27 B.C.-14 A.D.), the imperial family and their associates dominated public sculpture with official bust statues carefully designed in order to project specific ideas about Augustus and his family.


Quick Facts

  • Sculptural portrait heads from classical antiquities are sometimes displayed as busts, but these are actually often fragments from full-body statues
  • In the instance of "bad" emperors, imperial portraits were sometimes recycled or destroyed
  • The wax portrait masks of deceased ancestors that ancient Romans displayed in their homes are referred to as "imagines"

Recommended Items at Auction

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CESARE CERIBELLI "BIANCA" COLD PAINTED BRONZE SCULPTURE
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
CESARE CERIBELLI "BIANCA" COLD PAINTED BRONZE SCULPTURE
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$507 Bids
AFTER ROBERT BERKS BUST OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
AFTER ROBERT BERKS BUST OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$3256 Bids
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AFTER JOHANN GOTTFRIED SCHADOW "PRINCESS FREDERICA OF PRUSSIA" BRONZE BUST
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
AFTER JOHANN GOTTFRIED SCHADOW "PRINCESS FREDERICA OF PRUSSIA" BRONZE BUST
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$806 Bids
Asian Bronze Bust of a Young Woman
Oct 29, 9:30 AM EDT
Asian Bronze Bust of a Young Woman
by Merrill's Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $200- $300
$3756 Bids
Frederic Remington Bronze "Savage" w/ Marble Base
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Frederic Remington Bronze "Savage" w/ Marble Base
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$606 Bids
Frederic Remington Bronze "Sergeant" w/ Marble Base
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Frederic Remington Bronze "Sergeant" w/ Marble Base
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$605 Bids
CARRARA MARBLE BUST OF A BEAUTY
Oct 29, 10:00 AM CDT
CARRARA MARBLE BUST OF A BEAUTY
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $200- $400
$2754 Bids
Craig Holbrook (Giarc) Nude Bronze Bust
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
Craig Holbrook (Giarc) Nude Bronze Bust
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$354 Bids
French bronze bust of a lady, mounted to rouge marble base, signed to back approx 8cm H
Oct 31, 4:00 PM AEDT
French bronze bust of a lady, mounted to rouge marble base, signed to back approx 8cm H
by Vickers & Hoad
Est: AUD40- AUD60
AUD404 Bids
§ José Manuel De Alberdi (Spanish 1922-2008) Portrait Head of a Man, 1954
Oct 29, 10:00 AM BST
§ José Manuel De Alberdi (Spanish 1922-2008) Portrait Head of a Man, 1954
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £400- £600
£2003 Bids
Archéologie
Nov 03, 6:30 PM CET
Archéologie
by Vanderkindere
Est: €2,000- €3,000
€2,4003 Bids
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HAND PAINTED FACE OF DAVID PAPER MACHE MASK
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
HAND PAINTED FACE OF DAVID PAPER MACHE MASK
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$303 Bids
CARRARA MARBLE BUST OF FRANZ SCHUBERT
Oct 29, 10:00 AM CDT
CARRARA MARBLE BUST OF FRANZ SCHUBERT
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $80- $150
$703 Bids
VANITAS SCULPTURE
Nov 10, 8:00 PM CET
VANITAS SCULPTURE
by Unicart Auctions
Est: €2,000- €3,000
€1,9003 Bids
Craig Holbrook (Giarc) Nude Bronze Bust
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
Craig Holbrook (Giarc) Nude Bronze Bust
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$203 Bids
Bronze Bust Of A Woman, Mme. Emilie Beauchamp
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Bronze Bust Of A Woman, Mme. Emilie Beauchamp
by Kavanagh Auctions
Est: $200- $15,000
$2252 Bids
Roman Marble Bust of a Man with Cap
Nov 03, 10:00 AM CDT
Roman Marble Bust of a Man with Cap
by Revere Auctions
Est: $800- $1,200
$4002 Bids
A Plaster Replica Bust of the Apollo Belvedere in Terracotta Faux Finish
Nov 13, 2:00 PM AEDT
A Plaster Replica Bust of the Apollo Belvedere in Terracotta Faux Finish
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD60- AUD80
AUD402 Bids
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SERI HAND CARVED IRONWOOD BUST SCULPTURE
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
SERI HAND CARVED IRONWOOD BUST SCULPTURE
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$202 Bids
Emmanuel Villanis (1858-1914),
Nov 04, 10:00 AM CET
Emmanuel Villanis (1858-1914),
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€1,7002 Bids
After Canova: Marble Bust of a Woman
Nov 06, 10:00 AM EDT
After Canova: Marble Bust of a Woman
by Roland Auctions NY
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$5002 Bids
Terry Murphy (American, b. 1950) Bust of a Warrior, edition 33/36, 1993
Nov 04, 10:00 AM MDT
Terry Murphy (American, b. 1950) Bust of a Warrior, edition 33/36, 1993
by Hindman
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$8002 Bids
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2 Skull Sculptures
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
2 Skull Sculptures
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $75- $150
$852 Bids
Elford Bradley Cox (Canadian 1914-2003) Male Head
Oct 29, 10:00 AM BST
Elford Bradley Cox (Canadian 1914-2003) Male Head
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £300- £500
£1501 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Sculpture Busts


Historia Auktionshaus

Historia Auktionshaus

Amanda Addams Auctions

Amanda Addams Auctions

OG Collections

OG Collections

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures