Roman fine marble portrait bust of a noble lady




A fine and rare miniature marble portrait bust depicting a woman with elegant Classical features. The back and upper part of the head are chiselled for the addition of hair which would have been added in a stone of different colour in order to create a striking naturalistic contrast. The small scale of the sculpture suggests a private portrait of a noble lady though the fashion follows the imperial queens of the time.

Roman sculptures with interchangeable hair are known as “wig portraits” and are relatively rare, particularly on a small scale such as this, flourishing c. 170-225 AD. Other larger examples of wig portraits may be found in the Capitoline Museum, Rome; for example the head of empress Julia Mamaea (222-235 AD)

Roman, first quarter of the 3rd Century AD

8.3 x 4.3 cms, 17 cms including stand

Some chipping as seen in the photographs, a fine polished surface is evident below the surface accretions which could be removed by a competent restorer. Mounted on a fine custom-made ebonised wood display stand

Ex. collection: Professor George ‘Yorgo’ Demetrakopoulos (1942-2021), Michigan, USA. Professor Demetrakopoulos was assistant director of the Medieval Institute and assistant to the dean at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan from 1965-2000.