Description This profile portrait of a Roman emperor, carved in relief within the band of white stone within the otherwise dark red sard, was surely acquired as an ancient Roman gem, although the manner of carving points to the 1600s. given the demand by collectors for ancient carved gems, many fakes were produced; a great many of these, as this one, are actually very good but the varver attempted to hide his own style. This gem was in the famous 18th century collections of the Dukes of Marlborough with an unbroken provenance until this day. For more on the Marlborough gems in the Walters google "Gems belonging to the fourth Duke of Marlborough in the Walters."
- I, Claudius: Art in the Age of Julio-Claudians. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1977-1978.
Provenance Thomas Howard, fourteenth/twenty-first Earl of Arundel, Arundel House, London, 1638, by purchase [William Petty as agent] [Arundel Collection A, no. 108, as “Drusus, son of Tiberius”]; Aletheia Talbot Howard, Arundel House, London, 1646, by bequest; Henry Frederick Howard, fifteenth/twenty-second Earl of Arundel, Arundel House, London, by 1652, by gift; Henry Howard, sixth Duke of Norfolk, Arundel House, London, 1652, by bequest; Jane Bickerton Howard, Arundel House, London, 1684, by bequest; Henry Mordaunt, second Earl of Peterborough, by 1690, by purchase; Mary Mordant, Drayton House, Northamptonshire, 1697, by bequest; John Germain, Drayton House, Northamptonshire, 1705, by bequest; Elizabeth Germain, Knole House, Kent, 1718, by bequest; Mary Beauclerk Spencer, 1762, by gift; George Spencer, fourth Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, ca. 1765, by gift [Marlborough no. 405]; George Spencer-Churchill, fifth Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, 1817, by bequest; George Spencer-Churchill, sixth Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, 1840, by bequest; John Spencer-Churchill, seventh Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, 1857, by bequest; Sale, The Marlborough Gems, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 28 June 1875, p. 65, lot 405 [as “Tiberius”]; David Bromilow, Bitteswell Hall, Leicestershire, ca. 1875, by purchase; Julia Bromilow Jary, Bitteswell Hall, Leicestershire, 1898, by bequest; Sale, The Marlborough Gems Purchased by the Late David Bromilow, esq., Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 26 June 1899, p. 73, lot 405; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1899, by purchase [Dikran Kelekian as agent]; Sadie Jones (Mrs. Henry Walters), New York, 1931, by bequest; Joseph Brummer, Paris and New York, 1941, by purchase [Brummer inv. no. N5143a]; Walters Art Museum, 1942, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase [formerly part of the Walters Collection], 1942
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