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    Sale 5399

    Antiquities

    30 April 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 176

    A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF THE EMPEROR CARACALLA

    CIRCA 196-204 A.D.

    Price Realised  

    A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF THE EMPEROR CARACALLA
    CIRCA 196-204 A.D.
    Depicted in his youth, with gaze to the right, his pupils articulated, his hair a thick mass of curling locks, mounted
    10¼ in. (26 cm.) high


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    Septimius Bassianus, nicknamed Caracalla (because he wore a long Celtic cloak or caracalla) and later known as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, was born in Lyon in 186 or 188 A.D., the first son to the Emperor Septimius Severus and his second wife Julia Domna. In an effort to establish his own dynasty, Septimus Severus declared the very young Caracalla a Caesar in 196 and Augustus in 198.

    There are five different portrait types of the Emperor Caracalla; this portrait of the young Caracalla comes from the years 196/7-204 and corresponds with the portrait on the Silversmith's Arch in Rome, which was inaugurated in the years 203-4 A.D. For close parallels, cf. F. Johansen, Roman Portraits III, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, 1995, pp. 30-34.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
    Please note that the lots of Iranian origin are subject to U.S. trade restrictions which currently prohibit the import into the United States. Similar restrictions may apply in other countries.
    This lot will be removed to an off-site warehouse at the close of business on the day of sale - 2 weeks free storage


    Provenance

    Acquired by the present owner's grandfather in his home town of Lyon, France, during the 1950s.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A FRENCH PRIVATE COLLECTION