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Object number


Object type



Column decorated with spiral reliefs

Title Type

assigned by cataloguer


The Sampson catalogue states that the Topham Finding Aid 3 ( was Fa 2) describes a column:
' di pietra Egizzia rossa'
Bm 7. 61-67 are catalogued together as drawings of the same column.

Other number

Fa 3 no. 65 and 66


Content (description)

61. From left rising from acanthus leaves at the base grows a slender tree with two wreaths hanging from its branches; beneath it is a crown and a pile of rods. A man carrying an axe moves right to a tree trunk. A sacrifice takes place at a rectangular altar which is decorated with a garland and the wolf and twins in relief. A youth on left leads up a bull. A man wearing a short tunic pours libation at the right of the altar, while a boy plays the double flute and another reads from a book. Five older men stand in the background, one with a skin over his head. A man approaches from right carrying a standard. On far right is a tree.
62. Two men carry a vexillum and an eagle-standard to right, where a tree grows. Then two men wearing breastplates and lionskins on their heads carry standards to right, following two soldiers who carry rolls.
63. On left grows a leafy tree, a corselet and staves resting against its trunk. A soldier wearing a plumed helmet rides on horseback to right, holding a bow in one hand, an arrow in the other. Next there grows a tree, at the foot of which lie a shield and a sword. Then a soldier on horseback brandishes arrows (?) and a shield. On right a cock perches on a plumed helmet on a rocky mound. A soldier with a spear and shield rides to right by a tree trunk.
64. On left a dog stands on its hind legs on the head of a lion, which also rears on its hind legs, to reach into the branches of a palm tree. A soldier wearing a plumed helmet and carrying a spear and shield rides to right past a tree trunk, on right of which stands a trophy. A soldier, wearing a lionskin over his head and carrying an eagle-standard, rides to right but gestures back to the trophy. Far right an arch, with the inscription SPQR stands obliquely by a tree trunk.
65. On left a soldier, holding up his shield, carries the head of a barbarian. Next are two large birds, and a small bird perches on a tree branch. A soldier carries a sling and a load of sling stones in his cloak. By a tree trunk a soldier with bow and arrows turns to left. In the background grows a tree with reeds (?) at its foot; past it walk two soldiers carrying standards, followed by a dog. On far right a general delivers an address from a circular platform, on which a soldier stands with him. On the masonry is very faintly written: 1721/ Bernardinus Ciferri D In... On far right is a tree trunk.
66. This drawing illlustrates the top two spirals. At lower left a nude woman sits at the foot of a trophy. Then a man sits at the foot of a second trophy, leaning on a shield and holding a disc (?). On the right of the trophy stands a strange object composed of five horns tied together. Next a tall tree bearing leaves and grapes occupies this and the upper spiral, which it terminates. The lower spiral continues with three more trophies, a woman sitting at the foot of the central one, and then a woman sits on a pile of armour at the foot of a palm tree. On far right grows a tree with leaves and grapes. In the upper spiral on left soldiers form a testudo and attack a fortress, on the walls of which small defenders can be seen. Other soldiers attack with a ram from right.
67. This drawing gives a complete view of the column, which rises from a cluster of acanthus leaves on a round base. The spiral shaft is surmounted by a composite capital and a statue of Athena, armed with spear and shield and with her foot on a globe among clouds.
This 16th century column of rosso antico 'viene creduta la famosa colonna bellica collocata anticamente nel Tempio di Bellona'

Content (object)


Content (note)

Column in the Palazzo Colonna


height (actual size): 496mm
width (actual size): 770mm


Ciferri Colonna Egittia con diverso figure legionarie del Palazzo di Colonna written in ink on the back of the drawing

Inscription description

Large 'A' written in red chalk on the front of the drawing lower right

Materials & techniques note

red chalk and red pencil on paper





History and association

Previous ownership


• Vasi (224)
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