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A Roman Marble Portrait Head of Socrates, 1st/2nd Century A.D., on 18th Century Herm Shoulders
JUMP TO LOT
48
A Roman Marble Portrait Head of Socrates, 1st/2nd Century A.D., on 18th Century Herm Shoulders
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Ancient Marbles: Classical Sculpture and Works of Art

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London

A Roman Marble Portrait Head of Socrates, 1st/2nd Century A.D., on 18th Century Herm Shoulders
his oval face with full beard of long unruly locks, moustache, bulbous nose, high cheekbones, heavy-lidded prominent eyes, and furrowed forehead, his sparse hair falling in long strands over the temples and the nape of the neck; herm shoulders and tip of nose restored.
Total height 52.5 cm; height of head 32 cm.
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Provenance

Sir John Dickson-Poynder, Bart., later 1st Baron Islington (1866-1936)
Spink & Son, London
Joseph Brummer, New York, inv. no. P2045, acquired from the above on February 24th, 1926 
(http://libmma.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p16028coll9/id/25944)
William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951), acquired from the above on March 1st, 1928
Butterfield & Butterfield, San Francisco
Manou Mobedshahi, San Francisco, acquired at auction from the above in the early 1980s
Michaans auctions, Alameda, California, Inspiring Interiors. Fine Art, Furnishings & 20th Century Design, September 9th, 2016, no. 3023, illus.

Literature

Greek and Roman antiquities from famous private collections & recent excavations on view at Spink & Son's Galleries, London, S.W.1., 1925, no. 4, illus. ("Life-size Marble Bust of a Philosopher, probably Socrates. ?Greek. Alexandrine period. Lord Islington's Collection")

Catalogue Note

A head almost identical to the present one was last sold at Christie's, New York, December 10th, 2010, no. 149. Both heads bear a certain similarity to the older portrait type of Socrates (type A: G. Richter, The Portraits of the Greeks, vol. 1, 1965, pp. 110ff., figs. 456ff.; I. Scheibler, Münchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst, vol. 40, 1989, pp. 7ff.). They could also be the portrait of an unknown greek philosopher. For the physiognomy also see a head from Athens: Richter (op. cit.), p. 146f., figs. 807ff.

Sir John Dickson-Poynder was a distinguished politician and colonial administrator (see note to Sotheby's, London, Old Master Paintings, July 7th, 2005, no. 50).

Ancient Marbles: Classical Sculpture and Works of Art

|
London