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  • image S111

Fragment of a large Roman altar or the base of a statue group(?)

27 BC-14 AD

Pentelic marble

Height: 53cm
Width: 67cm
Thickness: 11cm

Museum number: S111

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 221help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

Two filleted ox heads supporting a heavy vine and grape, leaves and stems etc. with a garland between. Above is a stylised rosette-patera.

This was, with S105, part of a semi-circular (statue) base wtih a delicately carved frieze fo probably four bulls heads linked by garlands of Bacchic character suspended from their horns. S105 is from the side of the same base (see provenance) and its decoration proves that the base was meant to be viewed either from all sides or at least partially from the rear.

Vermeule commented that 'even in its mutilated state the base may be considered one of teh mosst nobly carved examples of its kind surviving from antiquity'. See entry for S105 for comparisons with other examples in the Capitoline Museums, Rome and an example recorded in drawings in the British Museum; also see S105 for a full discussion of the decoration.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Collected by Charles Heathcote Tatham for Henry Holland in Rome (see References). Tatham notes on his drawing "In the possession of Signor Angelo Grimaschi, Sculptor at Rome and for which he demanded 20 Scudi" and then against the drawing of item S105 on the same sheet, 'fragment of one of the sides'. See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished catalogue of Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction, Transcription of Tatham Letters, p. 40. (SM Archive)


Tatham: Etchings, pl. 13; Drawings, 9.
Description of Sir John Soane's Museum., 1930, fig. 15

Associated items

S105, other part

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