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image M30

Fragment of a section of carved pillar

Greek island marble

Height: 32cm
Width: 25cm
Length: 18cm

Museum number: M30

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 139help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

Enriched on four sides with vines and branches, there are (bay) leaves, berries, grapes, birds, insects, etc. on the thicker central stems.

A better preserved, longer shaft with decoration in the same manner and detail is in the Museo Chiaramonti, Vatican1. These somewhat fantastic foliage designs were usually populated with birds of all species, herons, thrushes and the like, not to mention locusts, grasshoppers, worms, and similar insect life.

Two other fragments Soane M727 and M481 have similar decoration and are thought to be from Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli (Villa Adriana).

1 W. Amelung, Die Skulpturen des Vaticanischen Museums, Berlin, 1903-08, Volume 1 - 1903; volume 2 - 1908, p. 619, no. 467c, pl. 65.

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 See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished Catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction.


Tatham: Drawings, 8, no.36.
Ward Penkins, Journal of Roman Studies, XLII, 1952, p.30, no 55.

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