- Museum number
Pentelic marble fountain decorated with olive, ivy and other foliage springing from acanthus leaves. A snake is wound around the ivy leaves, its mouth forming the outlet for a lead pipe.
- Production date
- 1stC-2ndC (early) (?)
Height: 180 centimetres
Width: 30 centimetres
Depth: 30 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Cook 2011, nr. 207:
‘A Fountain, composed of the stem of the Lotus regenerating three times from its calyx; the lower division is apparently surrounded with olive branches and the fruit; round the middle division are branches of ivy and a serpent, and the upper part appears to be again accompanied with the olive, and terminates in a pyramidal bud, springing from amidst its leaves. a perforation is made in the opposite side to the serpent’s head, thro which, in order to convey the water, a lead pipe was introduced, part of which still remains in the mouth of the serpent. This curious mystical composition was found 1776 by Nicolo la Picola. about half way betwixt Tivoli & Præneste – 5 feet . 6 ins. high’ (TY 12/3, dining room 37).
Purchased from Piranesi in Rome on 13 February 1777 for 66 Scudi (TY 8/102, TY 8/51). Townley recorded the price incorrectly as 80 Scudi (TY 10/5, TY 10/3, fo. 5), and seems to have used this figure to calculate the cost in Sterling as £18 (TY 12/1). The figure of £17 in TY 10/7 seems to be a miscalculation.
* Townley drawings 2010,5006.244 and 245;
* Nollekens: B. F. Cook, `The Townley Marbles in Westminster and Bloomsbury’, The British Museum Yearbook, 2 (1977), 45, figs. 26-27, no. 13;
* Chambers: B. F. Cook, `The Townley Marbles in Westminster and Bloomsbury’, The British Museum Yearbook, 2 (1977), 42-43, figs. 24-25, no. 18.
- Synopsis of the Contents of the British Museum (1808), II.11;
- Ancient Marbles of the British Museum, I, pl. 10;
- A Guide to the Graeco-Roman Sculptures in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 2 vols. (London, 1874  and 1876), II, no. 4;
- A. H. Smith, A Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum, Vol. III (London 1904), 410, no. 2538.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number