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image M91

Fragment of the enriched moulding of a coffered ceiling(?)

First half 3rd century

Pentelic marble

Height: 19cm
Width: 53cm

Museum number: M91

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 98help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

Enriched (from top to bottom) with fillet, cyma reversa acanthus carving, narrow fillet, fascia enriched with scroll ornament into which acanthus leaves are introduced, and thin bead and reel on bottom edge. On the underside acanthus leaves between rectangular flat areas.

The squashed cyma reversa is characteristic here of the first half of the third century - the later Severan period, but the scroll indicates an attempt to preserve academic motives in a novel misunderstanding of decorative elaboration. Late Severan, perhaps a copy in the last phases of the revival of Domitianic work. The wave-like scroll which has for unknown reasons received the name "Vitruvian" has antecedants in Greek architecture beyond the Hellenistic and into the classic periods.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Rome; collected 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 See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction, transcription of Tatham letters, List 2, no.28.


Tatham: Drawings, 3.

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