About this object

Head of a young boy, turned to the left. The front part of the bust and the fibula are also ancient. The head has a triangular shape and a wide forehead, a pointed chin with a dimple. At the back of the head the hair is arranged like a starfish in long curly locks with a central parting. On the forehead the hair is arranged in long crispy and clearly separated wet locks with a central parting. His cheeks are chubby, his eyes small and flat and his mouth short with a protruding upper lip. He wears a chamyx which is fastened onto his left with a circular fibula Claudian/Neronian period. Jane Fejfer noted that the style of the hair and the representation of the face resembled portraits of young Britannicus and his sister Claudia Octavia. The edged treatment at the back of the hair is of the Claudian era and the wet treatment at the front, a feature of Claudian/Neronian period. The portrait may have belonged to the bust especially from the beginning of the shoulder but may have also been part of another statue which worn a chlamyx. Portraits of children are often understood as grave portraits, the atrributes suggest the apotheosis of children or they are often represented ill looking. The portrait may have meant to idealise and present the deceased young boy as a hero. J. Fejfer commented that the young boy looks very healthy and cheerful and is very likely a member of the aristocracy or the high court. In Augustan time the notion of dynastic rulership prevailed and portraits of young children became very common.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    1st 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
    320 mm x 220 mm x 160 mm x 10 kg
  • Note
    Suggested provenance: Villa Doria Pamphili (K. Fittschen, letter to ECS, 17.4.1996). Displayed at Ince at Pantheon.
  • 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.

  • 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

    Michaelis, A

    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 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
Have 11 place tagsPage load time: 328 ms