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Home > Auctions > 5th March 2024 > Roman Marble Head of a Young Woman

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LOT 0125

GBP (£) 5,000 - 7,000
EUR (€) 5,840 - 8,180
USD ($) 6,340 - 8,870

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7 5/8 in. (1.15 kg total, 19.5 cm high including stand).

Sculpted in the round with soft facial features, the hair parted in the centre and drawn back to the rear of the head where it is coiled in braids into a nodus or 'bun'; with a broad brow and small pert nose, fleshy lips parted in a half-smile; mounted on a custom-made display stand.

Ex private German collection, acquired via Gorny & Mosch, Munich.
From the private collection of J.L., Surrey, UK.

Accompanied by an academic report by Dr Raffaele D’Amato.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate number no.12015-213585.

Cf. Wessel K., ‘Römische Frauenfrisuren von der severischen bis zur konstantinischen Zeit,’ in Archäologischer Anzeiger, 61/62 (1946-47); Meischner J., Das Frauenporträt der Severzeit, Berlin, 1964, pp. 20 ss.; Buccino L., ‘Morbidi capelli e acconciature sempre diverse,’ in La Rocca, E., Parisi Presicce, C. con Lo Monaco, A. (a cura di), Ritratti. Le tante facce del potere (catalogo della mostra, Roma, Musei Capitolini, 10 marzo- 25 settembre 2011), Roma 2011, pp. 360-383; Scarpati G., ‘Ritratto femminile,’ and Fileri, E., ‘Ritratto femminile,’ in Gasparri C. e Paris, R. (ed.) Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Le Collezioni, Milano, 2013, n.131, p.193; n.266, p.366; the sculpture shows similarities with the portrait of young woman in the Prado Museum, in Barrón, E., Catálogo de la escultura. Museo Nacional de Pintura y Escultura, Madrid, 1908, pp.244, no.362, dated to 225-256 A.D.

The head, due to the treatment of the hair, finds comparisons with a female portrait in the National Roman Museum, depicting a woman of the Antoninian era, and with another female portrait in the National Roman Museum dated to the third decade of the 3rd century A.D., reworked in the Tetrarchy Period, with hairstyle falling within the so-called 'nest frisur' of the Severan age.