Portrait head of the Emperor Domitian (A.D. 69–98) from a relief
Early Imperial Period
Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), no. 044.
Height: 30 cm (11 13/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Marble from Dokimeion (modern Afyon) in west-central Asia Minor
Not On View
Slightly over-lifesize head, turned slightly toward subject’s left. Hair in two rows of curling locks around broad forehead; deep-set eyes, unexpressed pupils; mouth slightly open. Head and neck broken diagonally at back; subject’s left ear, most of nose missing; chipping over right eyebrow.
Harvard Lab No. HI746: Isotope ratios - delta13C +1.08 / delta18O -4.34, Attribution - Dokimeion, Justification - Fine grained marble with zones of large quartz-like formations.
December 6, 1971, anonymous sale, Sotheby's, London, lot 89, sold to D. Katz, probably Daniel Katz Gallery, London [see note 1]. Probably Herbert Cahn (b. 1915 - d. 2002; founder of Münzen und Medaillen), Basel [see note 2]; March 14-15, 1975, anonymous sale (Auktion 51), Münzen und Medaillen A.G., Basel, lot 278. By 1975, Ariel and John Herrmann; 1983, year-end gift of Ariel and John Herrmann to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 30, 1983)
NOTES:  Many thanks to Jörg Deterling for locating this record.  Curatorial notes state that the sculpture adorned "the office of a professor at Heidelberg University" in the early 1970s. Herbert Cahn held an honorary professorship at the University of Heidelberg from 1971 until 1986.
Gift of Ariel and John Herrmann