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  • image M1447
Fragment SM M1447. ©A.C. Cooper (colour) Ltd

Fragment of Roman decorative moulding: perhaps the top of a cistern or fountain base(?)

c.9 BC
Probably around 9 BC, date of the dedication of the Ara Pacis.

Marble, probably Italian marble

Height: 17cm
Width: 24cm, minimum

Museum number: M1447

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 182help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

A fragment of the upper outside moulding of a non-architectural, functional object such as a cistern or fountain enclosure; the decoration consists of a cable moulding, lip with gadrooning, cavetto, fret, fillet, and further gadrooning at the bottom. Tatham's drawing describes it as part of the underside of the lip of a tazza. He collected a further two pieces that he considered were from the same object which are shown with this one in his drawing. One of them is SM S32, the other does not seem to be in the Soane collection.

A somewhat similar (?) fragment is pictured in the Conservatori Gardens, built into an ivy-covered wall1 and is found also in the top mouldings of the Trajanic or early Hadrianic reliefs from the Rostra area of the Forum, now preserved in the Curia2. The fret demonstrates the closest parallel in time, style, and pattern in the motive as found below the upper outside relief panels of the Ara Pacis3.

1 H.S. Jones (ed.), A Catalogue of the Ancient Sculptures Preserved in the Municipal Collections of Rome: the Sculptures of the Palazzo dei Conservatori, Oxford, 1926, II, p. 244, no. 73, pl. 95.
2 P. Romanelli, The Roman Forum, trans. C. Pennock, Roma, 1950, p. 83, fig. 35.
3 G. Moretti, L'Ara Pacis Augustae, trans. V. Priestley, Roma, 1939, pls. II-IV, etc.

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 See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction, transcription of Tatham letters, List 1, no. 44 (2 views). (Soane Archive)


Tatham: Drawings, 14.

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