About this object

Portrait bust of a female, heavily restored apart from the face. The bust is squared in the typical 18th century fashion and draped in what appears to be a role that does not look ancient. The beaded necklace is also an 18th century invention. The restoration at the crown of the head follows the motif of the thin parallel braids that frame the face but the function of the braids or the fillet is unclear. At the back the braids terminate in a loose knot that has no shape and is contrast to the geometry of the ancient braids. The eyelids and the jaw are heavy and the style of the female is very much in the fashion of Archaic korai of the Severe style and the early 5th century BC. Bartman noted that certain features such as the strap band of braids in front of the ear and the knob above the forehead are unusual for the Archaic examples. Bartman commented on the idealised rather than portrait features, despite the fact that Roman matrons wore tiered hairstyles with mutliple braids and noted that this was never the case for individual portraits. Bartman believed that it reflects the popular fashion for the Archaistic style with the hair in parallel waves around the face and punctuated by a central band and the two ear flaps.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    1st Century AD late - 2nd Century AD early
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    470 mm x 250 mm
  • Note
    Bartman compared it in the braids of the forehead with the pedimental statue of Antiope from the Temple of Apollo Daphnephoros at Eretria or the enthroned godddess from Tarentum. Blundell interpreted the head is Iphigenia rather than a portrait.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); J Thorpe ( Previous owner); Joseph William Weld ( Previous owner)

Explore related


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    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.

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    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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  • The Ince Blundell collection of classical sculpture Volume III-The ideal sculpture

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    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

  • J Thorpe

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