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  • image S107
Marble fragment SM S107. ©A.C. Cooper (colour) Ltd

Fragment of a Roman altar or perhaps a carved base

98-117 AD

Pentelic marble

Height: 33cm
Width: 30cm
Thickness: 16cm

Museum number: S107

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 223help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

The fragment is enriched with carved rosette flowers, foliate acanthus stems, and, perhaps an inverted acanthus palmette.

Comparison and a connection with the two fragments SM S111 (Vermeule 221) and SM S105 (Vermeule 222) might suggest this as derived from the side of a statue base or a similar type of block with carefully carved but bold floral enrichment. In addition to the use of this motive in statue bases, there is the not unlikely possibility that, if inverted, this fragment formed part of a large, curved frieze such as seen in parts of a cornice and figurated frieze from the Basilica Ulpia and still preserved in Trajan's Forum1.

1 German Institute, Rome, Neg. 31.2654.

On the Forum of Trajan and the Basilica Ulpia, see A. Boëthius and J.B. Ward-Perkins, Etruscan and Roman Architecture, Baltimore, 1970, pp. 237-239. For the frieze of the Basilica, see also D.E. Strong, Roman Imperial Sculpture, London, 1961, p. 95, pl. 67.

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 See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction, transcription of Tatham letters, list 2, no.3. (Soane Archive)


Tatham: Etchings, 5; Drawings, 1.

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