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Top sections of a composite capital

Late Hellenic-Augustan: not later than first half of 2nd century AD

Marble, probably Italian marble

Height: 12cm
Width (including scroll): 38cm
Length: 40cm

Museum number: M576

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 39help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

A fragment consisting of the abacus and enriched volute area of a composite capital. There is a flowered enrichment in the concave centre of each face of the abacus and egg and dart in the interior surface between the volutes.

The type of egg and tongue is late Hellenistic to Augustan of a variety imported from Asia Minor. The rounding off of the egg to a shallow top, the deep cutting at the sides and below mean a date not later than the first half of the first century AD. Perhaps the work of a late Hellenistic stone carver in Rome in the Augustan period. There is a composite capital with similar detail in handling of the egg and tongue, near the Theatre of Marcellus in Rome, in the pile of fragments to the right of the Temple of Apollo Sosianus and connected with the excavations of this Augustan monument.1

1 The Apollo Sosianus Temple and the neighbouring Bellona Temple were excavated at about the same time and unfortunately the fragments of both excavations remained largely undifferentiated, see Alessandro Viscogliosi, Die Architektur-Dekoration der Cella des Apollo-Sosoianus-Tempels, Kaiser Augustus und die verlorenen Republik, exhib. cat., Berlin 1988, Mainz 1988, p. 136; for essay on Apollo-Sosianus Temple see same cat. pp.136-148; essay on Apollo Sosianus Temple see Eugenio La Rocca, 'Apollo-Sosianus Temple', in the same catalogue, pp.121 - 136.

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 See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction, transcription of Tatham letters, List 3, no.49.


Tatham: Etchings, frontispiece; Drawings, 11.

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