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image M672

Foliated terminal of a Roman shaft: above a series of carved spirals terminating in acanthus leaves are two stylised pine cones flanked by a foliate scroll. The tops of the pine cones are smoothed forming flat surfaces.

Luna marble

Height: 64cm
Width: 32cm

Museum number: M672

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 213help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

A more complex, ornate, pinecone-topped 'so-called Candelabrum', at Ince Blundell1, may have served as a herm or similar support and its carved decoration includes satyric and trajic masks. Ashmole and Gusman2 cite other examples of these shafts in the Vatican, the Boncompagni-Ludovisi collection of the Museo Nazionale Romano, in Munich and in the Villa Borghese (illustrated by Gusman). Gusman speaks of the top of this Borghese shaft as "une sorte de bannerie simulée d'où émergent d'énormes boutons d'acanthe décorativement conçus." Such ornaments seem to have served as terminals to garden decorations and fountain ensembles, though from its small size and excellent condition the Galleria Borghese column probably stood as interior decoration.

This Soane piece is best paralleled by no. 507 in the Museo delle Terme, Rome.

1B. Ashmole, A Catalogue of the Ancient Marbles at Ince Blundell Hall, Oxford, 1929, p. 91, no. 241.
2 P. Gusman, L'Art décoratif de Roma de la fin de la république au IV siécle, 2 vols, Paris, 1910, II, pl. 104.

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 See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction, transcription of Tatham letters, List I, no.3.

Literature

Tatham: Etchings, 4; Drawings, 5.
Description of Sir John Soane's Museum, 1930, fig.19 (centre)


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