Pilaster capital with a lion-griffin

Imperial Period, early Julio-Claudian
A.D. 14–50

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 309.


Height: 59 cm (23 1/4 in.); width: 36.4 cm (14 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble, from Carrara, Italy

Not On View


The Ancient World


Architectural elements

The flat relief is broken on the left side, but finished on the top, right, and on the bottom.
Below the upper moldings, a horned winged lion, forelegs bent back, lies to the right. His tail appears to blend into a palmette, part of which remains behind him. In the frieze below the moldings at his feet are a honeysuckle and a palmette in anthemion design.
The carving would appear to have been part of a large pilaster, although iconography and style connect it with the workshops which produced candelabra in early imperial Rome.

University of South Florida Lab No. 8482: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.4 / delta18O -1.5,

Attribution - Carrara. Justification - C and O isotopes, fine grain, architectural decoration from Italy


By 1888: with Luigi Jandolo (said to have been discovered by Lucatelli in the woods of Rocca di Papa); purchased by R. Lanciani from Luigi Jandolo; purchased by MFA from R. Lanciani, 1888, for $493.92 (this figure is the total price of MFA 88.538–88.644 and 89.9–89.31)

Credit Line

Benjamin Pierce Cheney Fund