About this object

The head is titled to its left and portrays a young male crowned by a dense mass of ivy leaves and grape clusters. The atrributes and the idealised face indicate that he is a young Bacchus. The oval shape of his face may have been regularised and his sensous lips may have been the result of some reworking. A fillet is tied high on his forehead but there is no evidence of its ends at the back. Bartman observed that exuberant and rich ivy wreaths were popular in the Hellenistic and Roman times for Bacchus. The bust is probably a copy of an original of the third century BC. The ancient head was fitted onto a modern herm bust, the top of the crown with the upper hair are modern, there was also some breakage on the hair and the floral wreath which were reworked. The entire face has been reworked

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • 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
    400 mm x 250 mm
  • Note
    Bartman compared it with an unrestored head in the Capitoline in Rome and an unrestored statue from Cyrene now in the British Museum, the latter shows the downturned head and the rich crown. it also compares well with a head in the Farnese collection and now in Naples combining both the ivy wreath and the fillet. Blundell admired the piece and noted that there was evidence of toolmarks on the head. He probably did not realise that this was evidence of the restoration rather than the ancient carving.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Gavin Hamilton ( Previous owner); Giovanni Volpato ( Previous owner); Joseph William Weld ( Previous owner)

Explore related


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    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

  • Gavin Hamilton

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

    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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