Archaistic Head of Male


About this object

Archaistic head of a male, previously interpreted as a female by Ashmole and Michaelis because of the long locks of the shoulder which Bartman observed as common to many archaistic male busts. There are several rows of stacked snail curls around the forehead and the temples and longer corkscrew curls covering the ears and longer wavy locks over the shoulders. Ashmole described the head as lifeless and it possibly a copy of an original because of its excellent condition and the use of chisel for the locks which gives the head a bland look unusual for the Archaic type of works. The head also has a peculiar diadem which is rounded rather than flat and grooved. The style may be eclectic especially in the oval shape of the face and the fleshly lips. Bartman noted that the hair is not linear as in the Archaic tradition and there is a lack of the typical Archaic smile and therefore more of the Archaistic style. The Albani head may have served as a model for the Ince piece. The back crown of the head has been deliberately aged with pinprick holes.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    18th Century work, perhaps, modelled after an ancient head from the Villa Albani collection
  • 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 220 mm x 190 mm x 26.5 kg
  • Note
    Appears in NML photograph displayed in the Pantheon. Bartman found analogies with the bearded herm in the Villa Albani no 109.
  • 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.

  • Ancient Marbles in Great Britain

    Michaelis, A

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

  • The Ince Blundell collection of classical sculpture Volume III-The ideal sculpture

    Bartman, Elizabeth

    Author: Bartman, Elizabeth
    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

  • 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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