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image M1223

Fragment of the end of a small Roman frieze and architrave

14-50 AD
Earlier first century AD, probably Tiberian or Claudian date

Italian marble of good quality

Height: 19cm
Width: 33cm
Thickness: 6cm

Museum number: M1223

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 104help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

A fragment of a small frieze and architrave with mouldings and enrichment returned on the left for a short section. There is a swag of acorns in triplets, double taniae ends at the sides. thyrsos and, above, a cymbal in the centre. Of the architrave, from top and bottom, there remain a fillet cyma reversa with waterleaf and two fasciae.

The style of moulding indicates an earlier first century AD, probably Tiberian or Claudian, date (14-50 AD) for this section of rather rare architectural enrichment. The decorative carving is treated simply and there is no horror vacuae - a desire to crowd an undecorated surface - such as manifests itself in architectural decoration earlier than in most other Roman imperial arts. The enriched fronts of earlier first century cinerary urns when compared with the Flavian examples in the collection illustrate this trend1.

1 Compare with Soane Museum catalogue numbers Vermeule 325 (M410) and Vermeule 339 (M424).

Provenance help-art-provenance

Rome; collected by Charles Heathcote Tatham for the architect Henry Holland during the 1790s. See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction, transcription of Tatham letters, List 3, no. 28.

Literature

Tatham: Drawings, 8.


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