Roman - Throne, late 2nd century AD


Throne, late 2nd century AD

Greek marble (probably Pentelic), 64.1 x 66.7 x 66.7 cm (25 1/4 x 26 1/4 x 26 1/4 in.) overall


Object details

Accession number



Said to have been discovered at Telesina (now called Telese Terme) in southern Italy.
Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from an unknown dealer in Rome for 13,000 lire on 25 October 1901, through the art historian and archaeologist Richard Norton (1872-1918).


Inscribed (front, beneath the seat): LICINIAE *L *F *POST[V]MI (Of Licina, daughter of Lucius, wife of Postumus) [The inscription is badly worn and only the first word legible. The rest was determined from a "squeeze" taken by the classicist Gisela Marie Augusta Richter in 1954]


Catalogue. Fenway Court. (Boston, 1903), p. 4. (as "Carved marble seat")
Hans Möbius. "Eine dreiseitige Basis in Athen." Athenische Mitteilungen (1926), p. 120. (as a modern forgery; after a Greek original throne, found in Athens and now housed in the Akropolis Museum, Athens)
Gisela Marie Augusta Richter. Ancient Furniture (Oxford, 1926), p. 13.
Carl Blümel. Katalog der Antiken Skulpturen im Berliner Museum (Berlin, 1938), pp. 33-34. (as a modern forgery; after a Greek original of the 4th century BC, the Athens throne)
Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 44. (as Roman, 1st century)
Margarete Bieber. Review of Blümel, Römische Kopien griechischer Skulpturen des 4. Jahrhunderts. American Journal of Archaeology 43, no. 4 (Oct.-Dec., 1939), pp. 717-18. (as Roman; Neo-Attic copy of an original of the Lycurgan period)
David M. Robinson. Excavations at Olynthus: Metal and minor miscellaneous finds: an original contribution to Greek life, with a new up-to-date map of Olynthus (Baltimore, 1941), pp. 32-33, n154.
Morris Carter. "Mrs. Gardner & The Treasures of Fenway Court" in Alfred M. Frankfurter (ed.). The Gardner Collection. (New York: The Art Foundation Inc., 1946), p. 58, ill. 57. (as Roman, 1st century [AD])
Gisela Marie Augusta Richter. "The Marble Throne on the Akropolis and its Replicas." American Journal of Archaeology (1954), pp. 271-76, figs. 13-17. (as Roman, archaistic, maybe 1st or 2nd century AD; after a lost Greek original)
William N. Mason “Notes, Records, Comments.” Gardner Museum Calendar of Events 6, no. 6 (7 Oct. 1962), p. 1. (as Roman, 1st century)
Gisela Marie Augusta Richter. The Furniture of the Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans (London, 1966), p. 33, figs. 160-61. (as Roman; after a lost Greek original)
Judith E. Hanhisalo. "New Thoughts on Four Roman Thrones." Fenway Court (1973), pp. 21-29, figs. 1-3. (as Roman; perhaps without Greek precedent)
Cornelius C. Vermeule III et al. Sculpture in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1977), pp. 53-54, no. 78. (as Roman, late 2nd century AD; copy of a lost work of the late Hellenstic period)
Hilliard Goldfarb. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: A Companion Guide and History (Boston, 1995), p. 45.
Alan Chong et al. (eds.) Eye of the Beholder: Masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 2003), p. 2.

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