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image M750

FRAGMENT OF THE ABACUS OF A COMPOSITE CAPITAL (?)

69-96 AD
Flavian

Luna marble

Height: 12cm
Width: 18cm

Museum number: M750

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 51help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

A small fragment from the upper right corner of a composite or Corinthian pier or pilaster capital, both possibilities being difficult to ascertain from the size of the fragment itself. The abacus remains at the top and is carried around the right corner; the enrichment beneath comprises stopped fluting and traces of an oak leaf on cornucopia, foliage at the centre and right. The following fragment (Vermeule 52/S22) appears to be the lower continuation of this piece and came from Tatham (see note to that entry), however, there is no evidence that this piece came via the same source.

From a very elaborate Flavian capital with Flavian fluting and mouldings characteristic of enrichment and architectural detail from the palace complex of the Palatine. A close comparison for this and the following fragment is manifested by the pilaster capital etched by Piranesi1, from a drawing made near S. M. in Monterone, and for general arrangement of motive compare the small capital with vegetable volutes in the Museo di Aquileia2 .

1 Della magnificenza de architettura de' Romani, 1761, pl. XIX. J. Wilton-Ely, Giovanni Battista Piranesi: The Complete Etchings - an Illustrated Catalogue, 1994, no. 779.
2 V. Scrinari, I Capitelli romani di Aquileia, Padua, 1952 no. 63.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Unrecorded although it may have been collected in Rome by Charles Heathcote Tatham for the architect Henry Holland during the 1790s.


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