Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 5

Roman Marble Head of a Magistrate, 1st Century A.D , Provenance

$217,096.01

About

This impressive piece of Roman sculpture represents a head of a man which is, undoubtedly, a portrait. It belonged to the over life-size statue; however, it is impossible to tell if the head was carved separately and joined the figure dressed in a tunic and a toga, or the whole statue was executed from a single block of marble. That the head was part of the statue and not of the bust is confirmed by the large hole at the nape drilled to accept the thick iron pin, which served for the connection of the entire piece to the wall (this was also a regular practice to secure a heavy marble object placing against the wall or inside the niche). In the composition of the figure the head was turned slightly to its right side which is indicated by deep furrows on the right of the short neck. The age of the represented man is shown by the furrows crossing the forehead, prominently placed at the cheeks, and also by bags under eyes. The most individual feature is sharply curved eyebrows which are placed high above the wide-open eyes; this creates a somewhat surprised expression of the face. The individual features are also differentiated in a small mouth with deep curve at the upper lip, and the yes placed at some distance from the nose bridge. The hairstyle with rows of crescent-like locks is typical for the male hairstyle of the Claudian-Neronian era. The statue could be honorific and erected on the forum to honor the civilian merits of the man who might be an elected official (magistrate). The base could have a dedicatory inscription with the name of the person. Beside the survived statues, several Roman historical reliefs depict the state processions and the participating officials (Altar of the Vicomagistri, Vatican Museums). If the information on the find of this head at Nîmes is correct, the piece could be executed by a local Roman sculptor resided in the city. Ancient Nîmes, Nemausus, was a principal city of the Roman province Gallia Aquitania. Few important vestiges of the Imperial Roman architecture (Maison carrée, amphitheater) have survived along with several pieces of sculpture. The typology and style of this head reflect the characteristics of the art of portrait in Rome while the workmanship possesses all necessary qualities and high standards for execution. Culture: Roman Period: 1st century A.D. Dimensions: H 30 cm Provenance : Found at Nîmes, France, circa 1900; Ex- Swiss private collection since 1974. Conditions : The head is entirely preserved; surface worn; few chips and scratches; deep vertical fractures on the neck at front; damaged are the front and tip of the nose, chin, part of the right ear; dent on the forehead above the nose bridge; incrustations and reddish-ochre patina; left side of the neck is broken off and restored in plaster; a large drilled round hole at the nape made to attach the statue to the wall.

Details

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Estimated Customs Duties & Taxes to the Continental US: $0.
    Ships From: Switzerland
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 14 days of delivery.

1stDibs Buyer Protection Guaranteed
If your item arrives not as described, we’ll work with you and the seller to make it right. Learn more
About the Seller
4.9 / 5
Located in Switzerland
Platinum Seller
These expertly vetted sellers are 1stDibs' most experienced sellers and are rated highest by our customers.
Established in 2010
1stDibs seller since 2016
257 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 1 hour
More From This Seller

You May Also Like

Ancient Roman Marble Bust of a Woman, 1st Century BC-1st century AD
Located in London, GB
Julio-Claudian period, 1st century BC-1st century AD Measures: Height with stand 37cm A Roman lady represented with an oval face characterized by a beautifully rounded chin and...
Category

Antique 15th Century and Earlier Italian Classical Roman Busts

Materials

Marble

Ancient Roman Portrait Bust of a Man, 1st Century BC
Located in Brooklyn, NY
A portrait of Roman aristocrat executed in the Veristic style. From the Latin "verus" meaning truth, the practice represented everyday subjects with great realism often including sig...
Category

Antique 15th Century and Earlier Italian Classical Roman Busts

Materials

Marble

Roman Bronze Hand Mirror with Beautiful Patina, circa 1st Century
Located in Austin, TX
A simple and elegant Roman bronze hand mirror, late Republic Period, circa 1st century, Italy. The bronze mirror of simple form. The round face with a pierced border design. The o...
Category

Antique 15th Century and Earlier Italian Classical Roman Antiquities

Materials

Bronze

20th Century Marble Roman Bust
Located in London, GB
20th century marble Roman bust of a Roman military dignitary or Emperor. Made with white and Siena marble.
Category

20th Century Italian Classical Roman Figurative Sculptures

Materials

Marble

Ancient, Roman Marble Bust of a Boy
Located in Newport Beach, CA
Sensitively carved, solid marble bust of a young boy mounted on a custom, Lucite base. Carved fully in the round, though originally the figure was part of a larger group. Acquired di...
Category

Antique 15th Century and Earlier Italian Classical Roman Busts

Materials

Marble

Pair of Italian Terracotta Eagles After a 1 st Century AD Roman Marble Original
Located in Vancouver, British Columbia
A life-size pair of finely cast 19 Century Italian terracotta eagles standing on an oval terracotta base, each facing the other with their wings partially upswept after a 1st Centu...
Category

Antique Late 19th Century Italian Neoclassical Revival Animal Sculptures

Materials

Terracotta

19th Century Roman Classical Marble Torso of a Venus
Located in Essex, MA
Classical Roman carved marble sculpture of a Venus Torso. 19th century in statuario marble. Beautifully contraposto position. Could be mounted to stand.   
Category

Antique 19th Century Italian Classical Roman Figurative Sculptures

Materials

Statuary Marble

Marble Statue of a Robed Roman Figure
Located in Palm Desert, CA
An intricately carved marble statue of a robed Roman official (possibly Marcus Tullius Cicero). This statue has extensive restorations so if you are looking for a perfect piece this ...
Category

Antique Late 19th Century Italian Classical Roman Figurative Sculptures

Materials

Marble

The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Insured Global Delivery