A Roman marble sarcophagus fragment
Lot 162*W
A Roman marble sarcophagus fragment
£10,000 - 15,000
US$ 16,000 - 24,000

Lot Details
A Roman marble sarcophagus fragment
Circa 3rd Century A.D.
Depicting a married couple, the wife on the right with her arm around her husband, wearing drapery falling off her right shoulder, her hair arranged in horizontal waves and drawn back into a low flat chignon, a himation drawn up behind her, her large eyes with incised irises and drilled pupils, the head probably recarved in antiquity from a slightly earlier sarcophagus, the husband holding a scroll in his hands, 17½in (44.5cm) long, mounted

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Robert Diercks Collection, Washington, USA. Acquired from Francois Antonovich, Paris on 28th June, 1984 and accompanied by a copy of the invoice.

    Literature:
    For a similar composition of the wife embracing her husband with a scallop shell background, cf., the Sarcophagus of the Spouses or Trinity Sarcophagus, dating from the second quarter of the 4th Century from Trinquetaille: Inv. PAP.74.00.1/5. Musee de l'Arles Antique, Arles, France.

    The Diercks sarcophagus fragment is a slightly more uncommon example as the wife's drapery is falling off her shoulder. For a similar example, cf. R. Calza (ed.), Antichita di Villa Doria Pamphilj, Rome, 1977, fig.369 a-b, p.295-7. There also appears to be the remains of a tress of hair falling at the wife's right shoulder which is inconsistent with her contemporary hairstyle. It seems likely that the head of the wife was recarved in antiquity with her portrait and boasting a contemporary hairstyle, either from a pre-made sarcophagus of more generic type, or from a re-used sarcophagus.
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