Grand Tour Roman Antiquity – 2nd Century AD – A Life-Size Antique Carved Stone Head of a Female Goddess, Possibly Venus
Grand Tour Roman Antiquity – 2nd Century AD – A Life-size Antique Carved Stone Head of a Female Goddess, Possibly Venus
A life-size Roman sandstone head of a woman. Though to represent the Goddess Venus.
Believed to be from circa 2nd Century AD.
This appealed to us given its origins which are more than likely from the “Grand Tour”.
Presented on an associated ebonised metal stand made by our local blacksmith.
Provenance – From the private collection of Alison Barker deceased.
Alison Barker (1951 – 2021), a retired Barrister-at-law and lifetime collector of the curious, the carved, and the archaic.
Alison achieved a degree in Law from Birmingham University and was one of only a handful of women to graduate in her year. Following her degree, she went on to practice law in London as a Barrister at the Temple.
Frequent family holidays as a child ignited the historian in her, and Alison immersed herself in history with a hunger for knowledge. Her collection gave her a vehicle for researching the historical eras which she truly loved, namely the Egyptian, Roman, and Tudor periods. If there was an exhibition or museum to be visited where she could expand her knowledge, she was there, taking notes.
By the tender age of 10, Alison was already collecting Roman coins, and her subsequent lifetime passion for antiques was built from there. Throughout the years Alison amassed a study collection in her home which was almost a mirror image of herself: eclectic, varied, fun, and with a wicked sense of humour. Many of the pieces in her collection reflect this. It was reputed that on walking into her London home, and latterly her Chichester townhouse, it was like visiting a carefully curated (and very full) private museum!
Her collection started with Roman and Egyptian pieces, latterly moving into carvings and furniture. In 2016 Alison sold her collection of engraved coins through St James’s Auction. In the preface to her collection, they noted that ‘Sadly, not a single item comes with a provenance ticket’ and this is also the case with the remainder of her collection. Paperwork was an inconvenience to Alison and took up valuable space which could be used for a new acquisition!
Alison purchased pieces because they appealed to her, it didn’t matter if they were a little broken or chipped, if they filled a gap in her collection or her knowledge of the subject, she would excuse any damage. As a result, many of the pieces in her collection have been repaired by Alison, or what has become known as ‘Alisoned’ and she was never far from modeler’s clay and a tube of superglue!
Condition – surface wear is commensurate with age (weathered). The head is complete. Striations in the stone can be seen which is harder quartz that has been exposed due to the weathering of the sandstone. Please refer to the images. This displays very well. A further detailed condition report is available upon request.
Size: Height (including stand) 28 cm (11″)
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