Statuette of Isis


About this object

Statuette of Isis carrying a sistrum, dressed in a sleeved chiton and fringed tunic knotted between the breasts. She has the typical garb of Isis and her attendants. The statue is small in size but the idealised expression of her face suggests she is the goddess rather than the priestess. She has a regular oval face, broad cheeks, large eyes and a small mouth and does not seem to have any particular facial characteristics that would suggest a portrait of a priestess. She wears a thin diadem that encircles her head and controls the soft waver of the hair off the face and has thick corkscrew curls that fall on the back of the neck. The curls hang parallel to each other and are very different to the hairstyles of statues found in Egypt from the Hellenistic period. Bartman believes this to be a Roman statuette than a Hellenistic and points out that the thickness of the garment is another indication of its dating at Roman times. There are restorations on both arms from the elbow, the nose, front and top of the Isis knot, some bits of the hair and the drapery. Some recutting can be observed on the folds of the left side of the skirt as they are flatter than the right and the bottom edge of the tunic's hem and the feet.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    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: Rome
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    600 mm x 360 mm
  • Note
    Michaelis viewed the head as a restoration. Bartman: the head does not appear to have been broken from the figure. Michaelis may have meant that the head was recut but the head appears to be the right one in proportion to the body. Blundell may be referring to the statuette in a letter to Townley from 1800.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell (Collector, previous owner); Ciriaco Mattei (Previous owner); Giuseppe Mattei (Previous owner); Joseph William Col Sir Weld (Previous owner)

Explore related


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    Date: 1929
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  • 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.


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
  • Giuseppe Mattei

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • 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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