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Eagle, a fragment from a Roman funerary monument

Probably late 1st century AD

Pentelic marble

Height: 23cm
Width (as fixed on wall): 17cm

Museum number: M864

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 229help-vermeule-catalogue-number

On display: Dome Area
All spaces are in No. 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields unless identified as in No. 12, Soane's first house. For tours https://www.soane.org/your-visit

Curatorial note

This fragment comprises the head, body and wings of an eagle with its head turned sharply to the right and upwards. The carving of this piece is cursory, but, in spite of free use of the running drill especially around the head and eyes, and in the feathers, the carving may be as early as the late first century AD.

This fragment is probably broken from the front right corner of a funerary monument, such as a sepulchral altar. Compare the eagles on such monuments illustrated in Altmann1. However, perhaps the closest parallels in pose and style and the treatment of the eyes, feathers, beak, etc. are seen on the Flavian funerary altar of Giunia Procula in the Uffizi in Florence2.

1 W. Altmann, Die Römischen Grabaltäre der Kaiserzeit, Berlin, 1905, p. 50, fig. 39; p. 79, fig. 66; p. 92, fig. 77; p. 93, fig. 78 (Corsini); and p. 94, fig. 79.
2 W. Altmann, Die Römischen Grabaltäre der Kaiserzeit, Berlin, 1905, p. 97, no. 75; E. Strong, Roman Sculpture from Augustus to Constantine, London, 1907, fig. 79.

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 See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished Catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction, transcription of Tatham letters, List 1, no.48. (Soane Archive).


Tatham: Drawings, 14.

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