- Museum number
Pavonazzetto marble latrine in the form of a chariot.
- Production date
- 2ndC-3rdC (early) (?)
Height: 0.76 metres
- Curator's comments
Cook 2011, nr. 334:
'An ancient Bath=chair of the Pavonazzo=marble, so called by the Italians. In the centre of the seat is a hollow space in the form of an extended horse=shoe, thro which the steam was received. On each side a wheel is worked in relief, in imitation no doubt, of such wheel=chairs, as were at that time executed in wood, resembling in some degree the chairs of this day, placed on wheels for the use of lame persons. This chair was found in the part of the Antonine Baths, formerly belonging to the Jesuites, and was brought to England by Mr Lyde Brown’ (1804 Parlour Catalogue, stairs 13). The curious view that this latrine was a sedea balnearis and that the central hole was either a conduit for steam or a drain for water poured over the bather by a slave, survived into the early twentieth century (Smith).
Found in the Baths of Caracalla (known in Townley’s day as the Antonine Baths).
The latrine was not mentioned in correspondence from Lyde Browne concerning Townley’s acquisition of objects from his collection in 1775 (see 1805,0703.73 for more info), and may therefore have been acquired separately. If this was in Lyde Browne’s lifetime, it must have been before 10 September 1787, but I have found no evidence either way.
* Townley drawing 2010,5006.332.
- Synopsis of the Contents of the British Museum (post-1808#), XI.29;
- A Guide to the Graeco-Roman Sculptures in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 2 vols. (London, 1874  and 1876), II, no. 121;
- A. H. Smith, A Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum, Vol. III (London 1904), 403, no. 2517, fig.65;
- B. F. Cook, The Townley Marbles (London, 1985), 48, fig. 44.
A. Bouet and F. Saragoza (2007) Hygiène et thérapeutique dans l’Antiquité romaine, Réflexions sur quelques sièges de latrines, Monuments Piot 86: 31-56.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2014, 5 Jun-23 Nov, Venice, Giardini della Biennale, Fundamentals: the 14th International Architecture Exhibition
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number