Side frame of a Roman stool

Object number
Object: Side frame of a Roman stool

Material: Bronze.

Period: 1st century AD.
Roman Imperial period.

Description:    Side frame from the short end of a small seating furniture, probably a stool. Composed of two square profile legs with square profile feet. Connected by two openwork struts. The narrow lower strut is decorated by a wave pattern ("Vitruvian scroll"). The broad upper strut is elaborately decorated by a central mask-like female head, possibly a maenad. The head is symmetrically adorned by scrolling and palmettes. Four notches can be seen on the rear side of the frame that once hosted the longitudinal struts and the seat.

Background: Similar bronze furniture in this state of preservation is known especially from the Mount Vesuvius region. It was buried and preserved in the AD 79 eruption (cf. references below). Two bronze stools were found in House VII in Pompeii (Casa di Fabio Rufo). A piece very similar to this one is from Torre Annunziata, right next to Pompeii. It is well possible that the side frame described here is from one of the buried cities or villas of the Mount Vesuvius region, too. Many wonderfully preserved artefacts from there found their way into European collections as early as the 18th century.

Dimensions: 26.8cm high, 25.7cm wide.

Condition: Very well preserved fragment of a whole seating furniture. Slightly bent and scattered small damages and repairs. All in all outstanding condition. Fine polychrome patina.

Provenance: Acquired by us in 2020 on the British art market. Previously in a US-American private collection. Acquired at Christie's New York, 2008 December 9th auction, lot no. 140. Previously in a Northern German private collection. Acquired into that collection in the 1950ies.

References: Cf. British Museum, registration no. 1856,1226.667. Cf. example from Pompeii House VII (Casa di Fabio Rufo) in Parco Archeologico di Pompeji, acc. no. 13355 and another example in Museo archeologico nazionale di Napoli, acc. no. 109506.

Authenticity: We unconditionally guarantee the authenticity of every artefact, all items are subject to our lifetime return policy on authenticity.