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 hind a slight smile. His hair is long and charecterised by a thick ring of locks around the face and swept in a topknot with loose ringlets falling 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 version is at the Vatican Museum and may have been the ancient version which inspired many 18th centutry replicas or perhaps the Vatican one is also a copy.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    1st Century AD - 2nd Century AD
  • Materials
  • 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
  • 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 the Ince Apollo is rather flamboyant and has a much more elaborate coiffure and 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 Nicola La Piccola between 1760 and 1780 at a villa on the Via Praenestina outside Rome. Antonine period.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell (Collector, previous owner); Niccolo La Piccola (Associated Person); Joseph William Col Sir Weld (Previous owner)

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Previous owners

  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Henry Blundell

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