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image M774

Corner of a Roman funerary (cinerary) urn with an ammon head and garland

Greek marble, probably island marble

Height: 15.5cm

Museum number: M774

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 335help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

This fragment is the upper corner of a square cinerary urn comprising the rim moulding, a Jupiter Ammon head and the start of a vine leaf garland (on the right).

For a close parallel to this front upper left-hand corner compare (complete urn) British Museum Marbles V, pl.X, no.1 (2351) and E. Esperandieu, Recueil général des bas-reliefs de la Gaule romaine, Paris, 1907, IX, p.85, no.6681 (for history and bibliography). The style and workmanship, especially in treatment of the Ammon head, also appears close to The British School at Rome, Catalogue of ancient sculptures preserved in the municipal collections of Rome: The sculptures of the Museo Capitolino, ed. H.S. Jones, 2 vols, Oxford, 1912, p.54, no.7 (correctly described), pl.11; see also p.58, no.21, pl.11.

This and Soane Museum A87 (Vermeule 334) are excellent examples of the sort of fragments kept to hand by eighteenth century restorers for recreating cinerary urns to satisfy the demand for such items, particularly from travelling British gentry seeking minor antiquities to complete the decorative balance of their classical collections. Soane Museum urn M404 (Vermeule 333) shows such fragments put to use to 'restore' an urn.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Unknown. In Soane's collection by 1811 when it is shown in a view of the Dome Area by J.M. Gandy (Soane Museum P384).

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