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  • image S45

Foot-base of a piece of Roman furniture, comprising the claw of a griffin-type support.

Pentelic marble

Height: 13cm
Circumference (base): 38cm

Museum number: S45

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 257help-vermeule-catalogue-number

On display: Study
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

In this fragment the bottom of the claw-support rests on a circular, grooved base: this is a rare arrangement on these objects. For this particular shape, compare the example from the Somzée Collection1, of which Marcel Renard notes: "C'est le fragment inférieur ..., sans doute d'une table circulaire supportée par trois pieds et appartenant à un type d'origine hellenistique, appelé delphica, qui connut une grande faveur dans le monde romain"2 ["This is an inferior fragment..., without a doubt it would have supported a three-legged round table, originated from a Hellenistic type, called delphica, which was very fashionable in the Roman world"]. There is a general parallel in this type of paw-on-base in a fragment in the Antiquario at the site of Hadrian's Villa (Villa Adriana)- a possible source for several of these furniture fragments.

Animals' paw feet in sculptured marbles, such as the larger of the examples mentioned here, were also carved as the side supports for large marble kraters or carved bowls of the "Piranesi" type (such as the example in the Museo Torlonia3 composed quite correctly from fragments in the Villa Torlonia-Albani).

1 Musée de Mariemont, p. 149f., no. R 63, pl. 53.
2 C.V.Daremberg and E. Saglio, Dictionnaire des Antiquités Grecques et Romaines, 5 vols, Paris, 1877-1919, p. 1723ff.
3 Pl. LXXV, no. 297.

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 See Cornelius Vermeule, unpublished Catalogue of the Antiquities at Sir John Soane's Museum, Introduction, transcription of Tatham letters, List 2, no. 52f.


Tatham: Drawings, 2.

Associated items

S56, comparison

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