About this object

Head of Apollo, represented as a youthful male with feminine features. His face is narrow at the jawline, his eyes almond shaped, his brow delicate and the mouth with thick lips which hint a slight smile. His hair is long and characterised by a thick ring of locks around the face, swept in a topknot. Loose ringlets fall onto the shoulders and the nape of the neck. Similar topknots can be found in the heads of Apollo in the British Museum and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. The head is tilted forward suggesting aloofness. The prestine condition of the head and the pretty treatment of the face raise suspicions as to whether the work is ancient. A similar head is at the Vatican Museum and together with 59.148.108 and they may both be ancient pieces or one a copy inspired by the other.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Art
  • Culture
    Roman
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    1st Century AD - 2nd Century AD
  • Materials
    Marble
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Salone
  • Date collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
    500 mm x 270 mm x 170 mm x 25 kg
  • Note
    Found at 'a magnificent villa in the Tenuta di Salone'. In NML photograph it appears displayed in the Pantheon. Bartman suggests that the head compares well with the ancient Apollo of Mantua especially in the tiny drill holes demarcating the mouth and the repeated linear patterns executed by the chisel, the Ince Apollo perhaps lacking some of the sharp features of the Apollo of Mantua but perhaps of a similar date of the Antonine period. Ashmole associated the head with Kephisodotos and the early 4th century BC but Bartman noted that 59.148.108 is only similar in the ringlets and that the Ince Apollo is rather flamboyant and has a much more elaborate coiffure as well as a mix of male and female characteristics. Blundell acquired this on an unknown date and because of the hairknot taken as a lotus flower he misidentified it as Isis. Neudecker associated the head with finds made by Niccola La Piccola between 1760 and 1780 at a villa on the Via Praenestina outside Rome of the Antonine period.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell (Collector, previous owner); Niccolo La Piccola (Associated Person); Joseph William Col Sir Weld (Previous owner)

Explore related

Publications

  • A Catalogue of the Ancient Marbles at Ince Blundell Hall

    Ashmole, Bernard

    Author: Ashmole, Bernard
    Publisher: Clarendon Press
    Date: 1929
    Description: An illustrated catalogue of the ancient sculptures collected by Henry Blundell and formerly at Ince Blundell Hall.

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

    Blundell, Henry

    Author: Blundell, Henry
    Publisher:
    Date: 1803
    Description:

  • Ancient Marbles in Great Britain

    Michaelis, A

    Author: Michaelis, A
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Date: 1882
    Description:

  • Digging and Dealing in eighteenth-century Rome

    Bignamini, I; Hornsby, C

    Author: Bignamini, I; Hornsby, C
    Publisher: Yale University Press
    Date: 2010
    Description: A catalogue of sites excavated in Italy in the 18th century complete with records of findings and maps. A section on dealers and other characters in 18th century collecting of antiquities, includes an entrry on Henry Blundell and references to some of the sculptures in the department of antiquities at World Museum.

  • Egypt, Rome and the concept of universal history

    Bartman, Elizabeth

    Author: Bartman, Elizabeth
    Publisher: The British School at Rome
    Date: 2011
    Description: Proceedings of a conference held at the British School at Rome in 2006. Important as the Grand Tour was, there was much more to the cultural relationship between Britain and Rome in the eighteenth century than this. The contributions to this volume look at this relationship from the perspective of the Italian, as well as the British and other European visitors: Rome in the eighteenth century stood for cosmopolitanism rather than national rivalry, and had moved beyond being the centre for the renaissance of antiquity to being a place where the cross-pollination of the modern with the ancient allowed the culture of Europe to flower in new and unexpected ways.

  • The Ince Blundell collection of classical sculpture Volume III-The ideal sculpture

    Bartman, Elizabeth

    Author: Bartman, Elizabeth
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press
    Date: 2017
    Description: This book investigates the important antiquities collection formed by Henry Blundell of Ince Blundell Hall, near Liverpool, in the late eighteenth century. Consisting of more than 500 ancient marbles - the UK's largest collection of Roman sculptures after that of the British Museum - the collection was assembled primarily in Italy during Blundell's various 'Grant Tour' visits. As ancient statues were the preeminent souvenir of the Grand Tour, Blundell has strong competition from other collectors, British nobility and European aristocrats, monarchs, and the Pope. His statues represent a typical cross section of sculptures that would have decorated ancient Roman houses, villas, public spaces and even tombs, although their precise origins are largely unknown. Most are likely to have come from Rome and at least one was found at Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli.

  • The Two Sided Lake

    Author:
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press
    Date: 2016
    Description:

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

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

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Bequest
Object view = Humanities
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