Table leg (trapezophoros) with goat head

Imperial Period
1st–2nd century A.D.


Height: 89 cm (35 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



A large one legged table support (monopodium) carved in the shape of the head of a horned goat with legs emerging from acanthus foliage. The use of a dark grey marble and the motif of the goat head are unusual. Marble tables of Roman date are usually identified as dining room furniture, but evidence from Roman reliefs and frescoes representing dining scenes attest that such single leg table supports were used for holding glassware (a drinks table or in Latin as “vasariae mensae”) and not for dining. In fact, most Roman dining tables were probably of wood or plaster or stucco. Sometimes monopods served as stands for cult images in shrines and sanctuaries. Whatever its original function, such a colored marble piece would have been considered a luxurious object.

For how it looked when complete, see MFA 1984.437, miniature bronze table leg in shape of goat head and legs.


By 1947, Johannes Behrens (b. 1874 - d. 1947), Bremen, Germany; by descent to Bernd Lehmann, the husband of Behrens's granddaughter, Berlin; 2000, sold privately by Lehmann in Munich. December 18, 2009, Gorny & Mosch sale, Maximiliansplatz 20, 80333 Munich, Auction 184, lot 18, to Rupert Wace Ancient Art Ltd., 14 Old Bond St., London; January 2010, sold by Wace to Safani Gallery Inc., 980 Madison Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, New York; 2010, sold by Safani to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 16, 2010)

Credit Line

Benjamin and Lucy Rowland Fund, Morris and Louise Rosenthal Fund, Otis Norcross Fund, John Michael Rodocanachi Fund, Dora S. Pintner Fund, and by exchange from the Everett Fund, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius C. Vermeule III, Gift of Thomas G. Appleton, Gift of Mrs. W. Ogilvie Comstock, Francis Bartlett Donation, an anonymous gift, Gift of Horace L. Mayer, Gift of Miss Nellie Parney Carter, Gift of Mrs. J. Templeman Coolidge, Gardner Brewer Collection, Gift of H. J. Bigelow, Alfred Greenough Collection, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac O. Rankin, Gift of C. Granville Way, Gift of Joseph H. Clark, Gift of Benjamin W. Crowninshield, Gift of Edward Jackson Holmes, Museum purchase by contribution, Gift of Mrs. Walter Scott Fitz, Gift of Miss Mary B. Comstock, Gift of Mrs. Samuel E. Thorne, Gift of Mrs. Sargent Bradlee, Gift of Eugene Rodman Shippen, Jr., Gift of Miss M. Elizabeth Carter, Gift of Mrs. Clifford Smith, Bequest of Miss Ellen F. Moseley, Gift of Edward Southworth Hawes, and Bequest of George Washington Wales