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A Roman bowl with ornamented tripod legs

Bronze

Height: 26cm
Height (legs): 25cm
Depth (bowl): 6cm
Diameter (bowl at rim): 31cm, maximum
Width (between legs at reinforcements): 20cm

Museum number: HR8

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 441help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

The body comprises a shallow, circular bowl with gadroon ornament on the outer curl of the lip. This is supported by three legs, shaped with horses heads, bearded masks, and winged rosettes all descending to animals' paws at the feet. These three legs are braced at their joints by modern iron bars on which are attached three draped female busts of the type descending from Praxiteles' Aphrodites in the fourth century and found in statues of Artemis or Diana in Hellenistic and Roman art. Although there is no evidence that these busts did not belong to similar supports in ancient times, they may equally have belonged to another article of furnishing and been combined with this tripod in the workshop of the restorer.

Such horses' heads and medallion-type busts as are found here appear in other, definitely original settings, such as on a bronze bisellium or double chair from Pompeii and now in Naples1.

1 Gusman, Pompei, p. 102.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Perhaps found in Herculaneum (see also HR7). Purchased by John Soane from the Rev. C.A. North Sale, Christie's, October 1825.


If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk