Lot 39
  • 39

A ROMAN MARBLE BENCH SUPPORT, CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D. | A Roman Marble Bench Support

Estimate
12,000 - 18,000 GBP
Sold
16,250 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • marble
  • 43 by 57.5 by 14 cm.
of rectangular form, decorated at each end with an engaged lion protome emerging from a calyx growing out of a feline leg, each side carved in relief within a square recessed panel with a palmette growing out of a krater; no restorations.

Provenance

French private collection, Paris, reputedly acquired at auction at the Hôtel Drouot in the 1970s
acquired from the above by the present owner in 2010

Catalogue Note

A related example with a single lion at one end is in the Sir John Soane's Museum, inv. no. M84 (http://collections.soane.org/object-m84): in his manuscript catalogue entry (no. 248), Cornelius Vermeule notes that "Bench supports such as this are found in considerable numbers throughout the museums of Europe where they are often used as supports for the sarcophagi on display. There are excellent comparative series of these bench supports in Room V of the Lateran Museum, Rome (nos. 306, 310, 313-316). There is also a series with lions' feet at both ends in the Antiquario of the Roman Forum. If the former, the Soane type, they were backed benches or set against walls, as in theatres or the Colisseum. The Museo Forense type were probably freestanding seat supports as were the four examples (halved?) let into the bases of statues in the Villa Borghese (nos. CCXXVI, CCXXVIII, CCXXXX and CCXXXXII)."
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