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image S97

Section of a Roman candelabrum or decorative shaft

Carved marble

Height: 17cm
Diameter: 6cm
Circumference: 22cm

Museum number: S97

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 189help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

This fragment is enriched with bay leaves and berries on rising loose spiralled stems. The holes in the shaft appear to be for fastening rather than an indication of use in a fountain.

A column or large shaft in the Cortile del Belvedere of the Vatican, which has the same enrichment on a larger and more functional scale is illustrated by Gusman1. The size and pegged-shaft interior cutting of this and similar pieces from Tatham's Rome purchases indicate derivation from candelabra or garden shafts rather than from architecture as is possible in the completely preserved example definitely from Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli2. Gusman, however, states that these larger shafts were probably used in a non-architectural capacity - as supports for herms, sculptured reliefs (such as Soane Vermeule nos. 282, 283), or the like.

1 P. Gusman, La Villa impériale de Tibur (Villa Hadriana), Paris, 1904, fig. 413, p. 250 f. 2 W. Amelung, Die Skulpturen des Vaticanischen Museums, Berlin, volume 2, 1908 p. 74, no. 26.

Provenance help-art-provenance

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 See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction, transcription of Tatham letters, List 2, no.13.


Tatham: Drawings, 1.

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