- Museum number
Marble pilaster capital from the Pantheon.
- Production date
- 118-128 (circa)
Height: 48 centimetres
Width: 53 centimetres
- Curator's comments
These capitals (1805.7-3.275-277 and 437) were removed from the Pantheon in 1747, during a redesign on the interior.
Cook 2011, nr. 312:
When a second sale of marbles from the collection of the Duke of St Albans took place in 1801, Townley’s friend Henry Blundell hoped to obtain some columns for incorporation in a new gallery modelled on the Pantheon at Rome, which was then being planned at Ince (TY 7/1337-8) (The room now known as the ‘Pantheon’ was originally described by Blundell as his ‘new room’. For the date, see E. Southworth in J. Fejfer and E. Southworth, The Ince Blundell Collection of Classical Sculpture I, 1 (London, 1991), 16). Blundell was disappointed when the columns were sold separately, but Townley sought to console him by buying on his behalf lot 102, which included six pilaster capitals that had been removed from the Pantheon when the interior was remodelled in 1747. Townley collected the capitals and placed them in his coach house (Diary 30 April 1801, TY 1/15). Blundell, however, thought the capitals unsuitable for his new room and declined them (letter of 12 June 1801, TY 7/1339), his embarrassment mitigated by the impression that Townley would be glad enough to keep them himself or could easily dispose of them to other collectors (letter of 3 July, TY 7/1340). In fact, Townley kept them, although he did not include them in the late versions of the parlour catalogue. Lot 102, for which Townley had paid £14.13s.6d., also contained two pilaster capitals in ‘statuary marble’. I have found no further reference to these in Townley’s papers, but they may be tentatively identified with two marble pilaster capitals catalogued by Smith that otherwise lack any indication of their origin (1973.0217.4 and 1973.0217.5).
Four pilaster capitals from the Pantheon appear together as item number 3 of the street parlour in Combe’s Supplementary List (TY 18/4). Two were removed on 13 August 1806, the other two on 14 August (TY 18/6).
They are 1805,0703.275-278.
- A. H. Smith, A Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum, Vol. III (London 1904), 420, nos. 2590 to 2593;
- M. E. Micheli, ‘Disiecta membra del Pantheon: 1747’, Bullettino della Commissione Archeologica Communale di Roma 89 (1984), 55-64, 62-3, figs. 6, 7, and 9.
Also on 14 August, four pilaster capitals were removed from the coach house (TY 18/6). In the absence of detailed descriptions, it is conjectured that these comprise the remaining two from the Pantheon (1805,0703.437 and 438) and the two marble capitals that also seem to come from the St Albans sale (1973.0217.4 and 1973.0217.5). Since these four do not appear in Combe’s Supplementary List (TY 18/4), they were not included in the 1848 Register of the Townley collection.
- A. H. Smith, A Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum, Vol. III (London 1904), 420, nos. 2594 and 2595;
- M. E. Micheli, ‘Disiecta membra del Pantheon: 1747’, Bullettino della Commissione Archeologica Communale di Roma 89 (1984), 55-64, 62-3, fig. 8.
- On display (G70)
- Exhibition history
2008, 24 Jul-26 Aug, London, BM, 'Hadrian: Empire and Conflict'
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number