|IMPORTANT ROMAN MARBLE STATUE OF A KORE
The head of giallo antico, wearing a diadem and framed by curls; the body of pavonacetto, carved in archaistic style.
1st Century AD
H. 27 1/2 in. (69 cm.)
Ex collection of W. Kemp, ca. 1721; George Kemp, Baron Rochdale (1866-1945) thence by descent to John Durival Kemp, 1st Viscount Rochdale, Langholm, England, (1906-1993); American private collection, acquired from Royal-Athena in July 1999.
Published: E. Equini Schneider, Catalogo di Sculture Romane del Museo Nazionale, G. A. Sanna, "di Sassari e del commune di Porto Torres”, 1979, 25, No. 10’; J. Eisenberg, Art of the Ancient World, 2000, no. 14.
Carved out of pavonacetto (red, purple, and white brecciated marble) in archaizing style. She stands rigidly upright, dressed in a peplos draped symmetrically over her body, her hands holding the sides of the garment at her hips. Her head is carved from giallo antico (pale golden marble) and her wavy hair, crowned with a diadem, is parted in the center falling in two curls on either side of her oval face. The pavonacetto, rarely used for sculpture, is from a quarry in Dokimeion, Phrygia; the giallo antico comes from North Africa, either in Numidia or Libya.
This is a work not only of exceptional rarity, but also one of exquisite beauty, having been created to serve in a luxurious private home as a trapezophoros, a support for an elaborate table composed of a variety of different colored marbles. To our knowledge, only two other examples of this type have survived, both headless: the Sardinian statue mentioned below and a torso found in Campania, both now in the collections of the Museo Nazionale of Italy. Additionally, there is a kneeling male trapezophoros in pavonacetto with another type of marble used for the head, from the Farnese Collection, now in the Naples Museum. Also, there are a handful of herms in two marbles made as trapezophoroi, all of which were found in either Pompeii or Herculaneum and are now in museums. This is the only example in private hands.
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