A Roman marble portrait head of the Emperor Hadrian
Lot 60* W
A Roman marble portrait head of the Emperor Hadrian
Sold for £42,500 (US$ 68,799) inc. premium

Lot Details
A Roman marble portrait head of the Emperor Hadrian A Roman marble portrait head of the Emperor Hadrian
A Roman marble portrait head of the Emperor Hadrian
Late Hadrianic, circa A.D. 130-138
Over lifesize, depicted with a short curly beard covering his cheeks and chin, a short moustache above his full lips, his eyes with drilled pupils and incised irises, gazing upwards to his right, his thick short curly hair framing his forehead, 15½in (39.4cm) high, mounted

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Bonhams, London, The Geddes Collection, 15 October 2008, lot 68.
    Graham Geddes Collection, Victoria, Australia, formed from the 1960s-2008.
    Cesare Della Seta Collection, 1976.

    Exhibited:
    Museum of Mediterranean Antiquities, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, November 2005 - April 2008.
    University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, March 1988.

    Literature:
    This head is likely to be a copy of the Armoured Bust Type Imperatori 32. Portraits on coins suggest that the type can be dated to the final third of Hadrian's reign.

    Other examples of an armoured bust of Hadrian can be found in the Stanza degli Imperatori, Museo Capitolino, Rome, inv.no.443; also the Museo Torlonia, Rome, inv.no.545: K. Fittschen and P. Zanker, Katalog der Römische Porträts in den Capitolinischen Museen und den Anderen Kommunalen Sammlungen der Stadt Rom: Kaiser unde Prinzenbildnisse Bd. III, Mainz, 1985, p. 54ff., pls. 58-59, annex 35, a-d.

    For a similar bust in the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, Kansas City, see Arachne, no.8171 and for more information on the type see M. Wegner, Das Römische Herrscherbild: Hadrian, Plotina, Marciana, Matidia, Sabina, Berlin, 1956, p. 20ff.

    The style of the pupils and irises suggests that the eyes were reworked in the Severan Period.
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    Specialist - Antiquities
    Bonhams
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