A Roman marble carved relief
Lot 83W
A Roman marble decorative architectural fragment
Sold for £11,250 (US$ 17,604) inc. premium

Lot Details
A Roman marble decorative architectural fragment A Roman marble carved relief A Roman marble carved relief A Roman marble carved relief A Roman marble carved relief A Roman marble carved relief A Roman marble carved relief
A Roman marble decorative architectural fragment
Circa 1st-2nd Century A.D.
Probably from a column, of rectangular cross-section, with relief decoration on all four sides, the front decorated with a central stalk with curving fronds, a plant sprouting to the left of it with overlapping leafy sprays of ivy and clusters of berries, a small bird in flight pecking at one of the fruits, two birds below, the reverse with a similar scene but with a rectangular carved opening at the top with a cyclindrical vertical shaft through the centre, possibly from re-use as a fountain in post-Antiquity, the narrower sides of the fragment also decorated with curling leafy fronds, the left side with a small bird and bee in flight, 20in x 15in x 12in (51cm x 38cm x 30.5cm)

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    UK private collection, acquired on the London art market in early 2000s.
    David Knight (d. 1992) Collection, acquired from Christie's, London, in the mid-1980s.

    Literature:
    Such decorative motifs were employed throughout the Roman period and can be seen on cineraria, altars, columns and pilasters. For a similar decorative column fragment cf. T. Opper, Hadrian. Empire and Conflict, London, 2008, pp. 156-157.

    For similar decorative motives employed elsewhere cf. C. Vermuele, Roman Decorative Art, Boston, 1981, figs. 44 (table support), 55 (column), 62 (altar), 87 (cinerarium), 145 (pilasters). Also for a bird pecking at ivy berries on a cinerary urn at Chatsworth, cf. H. Oehler, Foto + Skulptur. Römische Antiken in Englischen Schlössern, Köln, 1980, fig. 78.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the current owner acquired the lot in 1992, not the early 2000s as described in the catalogue.
Auction information

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    Specialist - Antiquities
    Bonhams
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