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  • image S79


27 BC-14 AD
Augustan, if antique

Luna marble

Height: 25cm
Width: 20cm
Length: 20cm

Museum number: S79

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 150help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

Between a heavy angle-fillet with narrow cyma recta moulding this fragment is carved with foliate candelabrum bases in opposite pairs: one pair consisting of heraldic dragon-type birds back to back as supports for the base-top from which rose a thyrsos-like carved decorative shaft (now lost); the second pair, a stylised acanthus-leaf and animal paw candelabrum base from which rises a similar, ornamented shaft.

If antique this shaft section is work of the Augustan period or later. For the general style but different detail, compare this piece with Jones, 'fragment of a rectangular column'1. A more complete example in the Lateran Museum2 was originally surmounted by a fantastic composite capital. However, the combination of details of such a bizarre nature as those on this fragment suggests that it may be from a dismantled structure of the high Renaissance, perhaps deliberately broken apart and chipped to simulate an antique fragment.

1 Jones, Cons., p. 84, Galleria, no.13, pl. 31.
2 Lateran Museum, no. 202.

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 See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished Catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction, transcription of Tatham letters, List2, no.66.


Tatham: Etchings, 11; Drawings, 3.

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