A SMILING 2500-year-old goddess Athena can bring prosperity and good fortune to any household, at the cost of more than $30,000.
A piece of an upmarket Etruscan roof was one of the oldest pieces at the four-day Tasmanian Antiques Fair in Albert Hall, which finished yesterday.
Hobart antique dealer Peter Lane said the terracotta antefix, or roof ornament, would have been made between 650 and 500 years BC and was still in good condition.
Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom, arts, industries and prudent warfare and Mr Lane estimated the value of the piece at more than $30,000.
He said the piece would have smiled down on residents in the ancient country in western Italy and she was still happy.
"You can see she is smiling to the future, optimistically," Mr Lane said.
"There are not too many things made by mankind that have survived for so long and are good ... it shows art."
Fair co-organiser Robert Henley said the event attracted about 4000 visitors, up from 3000 last year.
He said the fair did better in poor weather, because it was an indoor event, but still managed to attract more visitors despite the weekend's good weather.
Mr Henley said a lot of "serious collectors" had visited the fair, looking for particular items.
Here's the photo accompanying the piece:
... I wonder about the provenance ...