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image M646

Fragment of the side-leg of a Roman seat or bench

c.100 AD
Roman work

Proconnesian marble

Height: 32cm
Width: 42cm
Thickness: 7.5cm

Museum number: M646

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 239help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

This is a fragment of the lower half of the side support of a seat, chair or throne. The smooth outer surface is ornamented at the base corners with two flowered scrolls from which spring two palms as they continue up the curve of the sides to form a border. There is a broad fillet-base at the bottom. The type and design of this piece are identical with Soane M648, but the two do not appear to be from the same chair due to minor differences in size and style.

A restored rosso antico example of the type of marble chair from which this fragment may have come stands in the Gabinetto delle Maschere of the Vatican1. The Vatican chair had a pendant, which since the time of Napoleon I has been in the Louvre in Paris2. There is an example in Pavonazzetto marble in the British Museum which was found in the Baths of Caracalla, Rome3. The most interesting ancient chair of this type is the throne of white marble in the basilica of S. Giovanni in Laterano [St John Lateran], Rome (the same church from which the Louvre throne came, according to its current label). The Lateran throne figures in the enthronement ceremonies for each new Pope at that basilica.

1 W. Amelung, Die Sculpturen des Vaticanischen Museums, 2 vols, Berlin, 1903-08, II, pp. 709-710, no. 439, pl. 77.
2 S. Reinach, Répertoire de la Satuaire Grecque et Romaine, Paris, 1897, I, p. 130, no. 631; G.M.A. Richter, Ancient Furniture: A History of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Furniture, Oxford, 1926, fig. 275.
3 A.H. Smith, Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum, London, 3 vols, 1892-1904, III, p. 403, no. 2517.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Unrecorded

Literature

W. Amelung, Die Sculpturen des Vaticanischen Museums, 2 vols, Berlin, 1903-08, II, pp. 709-710, no. 439, pl. 77.
S. Reinach, Répertoire de la Satuaire Grecque et Romaine, Paris, 1897, I, p. 130, no. 631.
G.M.A. Richter, Ancient Furniture: A History of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Furniture, Oxford, 1926, fig. 275.
A.H. Smith, Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum, London, 3 vols, 1892-1904, III, p. 403, no. 2517.


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