Fragment of an Ionic capital

Early Classical Period
about 480–450 B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 041.


Height x width: 16 x 14 cm (6 5/16 x 5 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Limestone, Italian

On View

Greek Archaic Gallery (Gallery 113)


The Ancient World


Architectural elements

Only the left-hand volute of the Ionic capital is preserved. The volute itself is convex and turned 1 1/2 turns and ends in a raised disc. A fillet of round section borders the volute. The volute breaks down from the upper edge at an angle rather than a continuous curve. The abacus is seen only at the side of the capital, where it is decorated with an egg-and-tongue. The bolster is carved with an imbricated pattern of feather-like leaves. The surfaces, including the breaks, have a crusty yellow patina.

A complete capital of this type, presumably found with these fragments, was in a private collection in Zurich in 1962, approximately the time when the fragments were reaching Boston.

The volute and bolster is almost identical to those of the Maraza temple at Locri, Calabria.


By 1960: with Hesperia Art, 2219 St. James Place, Philadelphia, Pa. (said to come from Selinunte in Sicily); gift of George Allen to MFA, February 8, 1961

Credit Line

Gift of George Allen