Choose Category:

Home > Auctions > 20th February 2018 > Roman Bust of Caracalla

Print page | Email lot to a friend

Back to previous page

Use mousewheel to zoom in and out, click to enlarge
Gallery loading...

LOT 0268

Sold for (Inc. bp): £15,000

21 3/4" (30.3 kg, 55cm tall (20cm chin to brow)).

An oolitic limestone, slightly larger than life, bust of the Emperor Caracalla, head turned to the left, showing curly hair, beard and with an intense gaze with squared off base; of provincial workmanship.

Property of a London lady; by inheritance; formerly acquired by her father in Europe in the 1940s.

See Sear, David, Roman Coins, volume II, Spink 2002, pp.502-545 for many coin portrait examples.

The features of the bust bear a striking resemblance to to the portraits seen on the coinage of Caracalla (198-217 AD); the limestone possibly being quarried in the mountainous regions of the Balkans.

Named Lucius(?) Septimus Bassianus, Caracalla (born 4 April 188 at Lugdunum) was eldest son of Emperor Septimius Severus of the Severan dynasty; Caracalla, with his family, including his brother Geta, arrived in Britain in 208 AD where they campaigned until the death of Septimius in 211 AD. After this, the brothers fell into dispute until Geta was murdered while attending a meeting of reconciliation with his brother in December the same year; Caracalla then slaughtered thousands of 'supporters' of Geta before campaigning in Germany, eventually being assassinated in 217 AD.