Life-size Marble Bust of a Patrician Woman with Braided Hair

Culture: Roman
Period: Around 250 A.D.
Material: Marble
Dimensions: 76 cm high
Price: 68 000 Euro
Ref: 3396
Provenance: French private collection from the 18th century. Accompanied by a French antiquities passport.
Condition: The nose is restored, the neck roll preserved only as a fragment, her hair with some wear, the face smoothened and cleaned. Overall a highly decorative bust.
Description: Expressive marble head of an elderly woman or matron with the typical hairstyle of the Barracks emperors period. The patrician with an angular face, pronounced cheekbones and a wrinkled forehead. The mouth is finely curved and closed. The eyes looking vigilantly out from thick lids, iris and pupils are engraved. She has her hair parted in the middle and pulled back in thick curls behind her large ears to her neck. There it forms a roll and runs up to the top in a flat, braided tail. This hair fashion, which was popular among the fine ladies of the aristocratic families in the middle of the 3rd century, was popularized above all by the empresses Furia Sabinia Tranquillina (wife of Gordian III.) and Otacilia Severa (wife of Philippus Arabs), which is why the dating of this head is beyond any doubt. The ancient head sits on an extremely finely crafted bust from the 18th century with an inscription which reads "Iulia Maesa" (died 224/225 in Rome). Based on the above considerations, this attribution can be considered a generation too early.