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image M1255

Section of a Roman cornice

Late 1st century AD

Luna marble

Height: 22cm
Width: 33cm
Thickness: 28cm

Museum number: M1255

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 92help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

The carving consists of the remains of a fascia and cyma recta (not as even as Tatham indicates in his drawing), a modillion course enriched with stylised acanthus foliage, egg and dart, fillet, dentil course, fillet, and a cyma reversa with waterleaf carving at the bottom.

From the form of the egg and dart and the decoration of the cyma reversa, this piece is datable to the period from the late first century AD, or to the late Flavian work of the Forum of Nerva1. It is mechanically carved, second rate work, having however the special merit of excellent preservation.

1 On Flavian architectural decoration see P.H. von Blanckenhagen, Flavische Architektur und ihre Dekoration untersucht am Nervaforum, Berlin, 1940.

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 See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction, transcription of Tatham letters, list 1, no.22. Entry states Prince Augustus' Cava as the location in which it was found. Tatham notes in pencil above his drawing and profile of this section, found in the Prince's Cava.


Tatham: Drawings, 14.

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