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image S110

Side of a Roman acroterion

1st century AD
Early Roman Imperial

Pentelic marble

Height: 66cm
Width: 40cm

Museum number: S110

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 117help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

The fragment is enriched with what were once delicately detailed honeysuckle palmette-pattern leaves in profile, scrolled stems, tendrils and flowers. It is early Roman Imperial work, perhaps predating that of the Ara Pacis and certainly of the same high quality in carving.

A pair of well known acroteria in the Vatican magasines are similar fragments from another building (or altar perhaps) in the Rome region.1 For the exact same style in cutting and arrangement of detail - now reincorporated in the North floral frieze of the Ara Pacis - compare Gusman.2

1 W. Amelung, Die Skulpturen des Vaticanischen Museums, Berlin, 1903-08 Volume 1 - 1903; volume 2 - 1908, Vol. I, pp. 299, 300, nos. 191, 193, pl. 29 and bibliography.
2 P. Gusman, L'Art décoratif de Rome de la fin de la république au IV siècle, 2 vols, I, pl. 1; G. Moretti, L'Ara Pacis Augustae, Rome, 1938, pl. X f., upper right corner of the Ara Pacis.

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 See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished Catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction, transcription of Tatham letters, List 2, no. 58.


Tatham: Etchings, 14; Drawings, 2.

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