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
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • 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
  • 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 proposed that the head compared 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, and that the Ince Apollo perhaps lacked 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 was only similar in the ringlets and that the Ince Apollo was rather flamboyant and had 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 Weld ( Previous owner)

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Previous owners

  • Joseph William 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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