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image X33

Fragment of moulding from a Roman cornice(?)

End of the first century BC

Luna marble

Height: 9cm
Width: 25cm
Thickness: 5cm

Museum number: X33

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 83help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

A fragment of (cornice?) moulding, of excellent late Asiatic Greek workmanship in a pure waterleaf pattern on a cyma reversa and with a fillet below; although no provenance is recorded, probably Augustan work executed in Italy towards the end of the first century BC.

Comparison with a later 2nd-1st century BC terracotta casing from Segni now in the Villa Guilia1 suggests that at this late date Asiatic Greek forms may have acted through architectural terracottas to become an Augustan decorative motive, seen here in the slightly later age of more permanent construction. There are numerous round nail-holes in the similar fragment illustrated by Andrén2, and the fact that they are definitely antique may lend weight to the thought that the two nail-holes in the Soane example, in spite of their current use as screw holes, may likewise date from the original mounting of the section. If this were definitely established, not only would we have the parallel for designs borrowed through Italic architectural terracottas, but also evidence of similar methods employed in constructional details.

1 A. Andrén, Architectural Terracottas from Etrusco-Italic Temples, 2 parts, Leipzig, 1940, p. 406, pl. 124, no. 439.
2 Loc. cit.

Provenance help-art-provenance


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