About this object

Portrait of an old man restored on a partly ancient bust. The head is under life-size and is turned to the right, showing an old man with a serious meagre and wrinkled face and neck with loose skin. Deep naso-labial grooves run towards the long and narrow mouth, and the upper eyelids are almost fully covered by the heavy orbitals. The hair is gently swept in longer locks at the forehead with a symmetrical curving hairline on the forehead. From above the right eye the front hair locks are arranged in a comma shape. The locks are short and clearly separated at the back. The treatment of the hair with the angular cutting of the locks and the veristic treatment of the facial features are found in many portraits of the Claudian era ( 1st century AD ) but Jane Pjefer observed that the comma shape arrangement is characteristic of the Nero hairstyle, described by the Roman biographer Suetonius as coma in gradus formate and found in Nero's portait the Terme type. There is damage to the forehead and eyebrows, and the nose, chin, mouth , ears and front patch of hair were restored.
The man wears a tunica and a paludamentum which dates to the first quarter of the 2nd century AD or even later because of its size and the few linear folds of the drapery.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    1st Century AD middle-third quarter
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    590 mm x 440 mm
  • Note
    Displayed at Ince in the staircase.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Joseph William Weld ( Previous owner)

Explore related


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    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.

  • An Account of the Statues, Busts, Bass Relieves, Cinerary Urns, and other ancient marbles, and paintings at Ince. Collected by H.B.

    Blundell, Henry

    Author: Blundell, Henry
    Date: 1803

  • Ancient Marbles in Great Britain

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    Author: Michaelis, A
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Date: 1882

  • The Ince Blundell Collection of Classical Sculpture. Volume I - the Portraits. Part 2: The Roman Male Portraits

    Fejfer, J

    Author: Fejfer, J
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press
    Date: 1997


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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