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  • image M1253

Fragment of a Roman Ionic corner (?) pilaster capital

Mid 2nd century to late 2nd century AD

Luna marble

Height: 37cm
Width: 46cm
Thickness: 9cm

Museum number: M1253

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 68help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

The enrichment on this capital from top to bottom comprises: fillet top; a narrow strip of acanthus leaf viewed sideways, which leads into the volute scroll at the right; flattened egg and dart; bead and reel and a broad band of 'whistle' or strap pattern fluting at the bottom.

The left edge of the carved surface, a band .02m. wide, was never carved. The semi-finished state indicates that this capital belonged to a corner pilaster, probably running into a wall abutting at right angles. The work is mid to late Second century, close to (but of too careful and undramatic detail to belong to) the Severan period with its heightening of Flavian theatrics.

On the decoration of the channel and the volute see: J. J. Hermann, Jr., The Ionic Captial in Late Antique Rome, Rome, 1988, pp. 12ff.

Exhibited at the Frick collection with Vermeule 60 (M1252) during the 1990s in a travelling exhibition from the Soane.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Rome; collected in Rome 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 See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction, transcription of Tatham letters, List 3, no. 50. (Soane Archive)


Tatham: Etchings, Frontispiece; Drawings, 11.

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