About this object

Statuette of a heavily draped female who is seated on a rocky support, leaning forward and crossing her right leg over her left. It is uncertain what the original position of the arms was as they were both lost but it is likely that the head may have rested on the right hand. The posture is one of reflection, enhanced by the drapery which confines the body. The crossing of the legs is common in antiquity and known from the Tyche of Antioch, however the pose in 59.148.83c is more dynamic. The woman's body is encased in a long and heavy chiton and cloak. The cloak terminates in a fringe on the left. Bartman notes that the pose and the overall context suggest that she is a Muse is represented; Urania with a globe is only known in one other statue. She compares well with the Urania in Frankfurt which was part of an ensemble of 5 Muses from a 2nd centuty BC Roman bath context at Agnano. She wears the thick sole shoes typical for Muses.

The statuette was inserted into a modern rockly plinth. The head is probably ancient and seems smaller to the body so it may not belong to the body. Restorations include the nose, left eye, right half of the mouth, chin and left jaw right jaw and cheek, right side and front of neck, edge of drapery at the neckline, outer edges of the drapery in the skirt and right foot plus hem of skirt. Ashmole had seen the arms which were dowelled by Ashmole but are today lost. The left hand was restored with a scroll.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • 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
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
  • Note
    Bartman explained that the cross legged seated female in the 3 dimensional form of a pyramid emerged as a type in early Hellenistic time of the 3rd century BC and was the one that was later on adopted to examples such as the one of the Ince statuette. The overall typology of this statuette is the one of the Muse, especially in the drapery. The fringed cloak is however not common in representations of Muses. A similar statuette belonged to the Barberini and was purchased by Gavin Hamilton for Lord Palmerston at Broadlands in 1766. It is possible that this statuette inspired the restoration of 59.148.83c.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Joseph William Weld ( Previous owner)

Explore related


  • 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.

  • 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
Object view = Humanities
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