About this object

Over lifesize statue of a male, Late Augustan, wearing a full-length toga, with a book scroll in his extended left hand. He wears simple shoes, and there is a capsa ( box for holding clothing ) supporting his left leg. He wears a long tunic and a full length toga draped around the body and the over the left shoulder. He holds the umbo of the toga. The statue was not intended to be viewed in the round but rather from the front, hence the neck support and lack of detail in the toga at the back. His gaunt and furrowed face identifies him as an elderly orator. The statue has undergone surprisingly little restoration, considering its size, most notably to its nose and the scroll.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    10 AD - 20 AD
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item currently on loan
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    1880 mm x 590 mm x 465 mm
  • Note
    Purchased by Blundell from the Mattei collection. Blundell appreciated it for its complete condition, the simplicity of the drapery and the peculiarity of the face. In his account he talked about the important role of consuls and its provenance from the Prince Mattei. In the past the statue was regarded by different scholars to be a complete restoration, most likely by Bartolomeo Cavaceppi ( Michaelis, Poulsen ). Jane Fejfer noted that the neck support is a device typical of sculpture from Asia Minor and North Africa and rare in West Roman areas and that it would be unusual for an 18th restorer to be copying such an unusual technical detail. In addition the ears are not cut free at the back and this is a feature of late republican / early imperial portraiture. The holding of the umbo is also unusual and only found after the introduction of the imperial toga with umbo. Jane Fejfer believes that the severe reworking of the head, the intactness of the statue as well as the modelling on the surface of the statue had previously raised suspicions about its authenticity. Stylistically similar to late Republican and Augustan grave reliefs with such statues often found in funerary contexts and probably made by the same workshops.The features of the head are very idealised and suggest a late Augustan period.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Ciriaco Mattei ( Previous owner); Joseph William Col Sir Weld ( Previous owner)

Explore related


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    Publisher: Clarendon Press
    Date: 1929
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  • An Account of the Statues, Busts, Bass Relieves, Cinerary Urns, and other ancient marbles, and paintings at Ince. Collected by H.B.

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    Date: 1803

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    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Previous owners

  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: By descent
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Donaton
  • Henry Blundell

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Bequest
  • Ciriaco Mattei

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1614
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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