The two were murdered by Geta’s older brother and co-emperor Caracalla in 211AD.
The Grand Duke, Cosimo III de’Medici (1642-1723), had two Roman marbles of the pair displayed together at the Uffizi in Florence which were the source of many Grand Tour copies, commissioned in both marble and bronze.
Among the best of these were the bronze casts made by Pietro Cipriani (c.1679-1745), Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi’s most able assistant in Florence. Several pairs are known to have been made for British milords at the beginning of the 18th century.
This pair, offered at Canterbury Auction Galleries on November 29, were consigned from the home of a retired Kent antiques dealer. He had owned them for 25 years after purchasing them at a small provincial auction where they were catalogued as cast iron. Each stands around 2ft 1in (63cm) high on square incurved limestone bases and has a later dark green patination.
Four phone bidders competed for them well above the £8000- 12,000 guide during 10 minutes of bidding. The buyer at £106,000 (plus 20% buyer’s premium) was a sculpture specialist.