Volute of Ionic capital

Classical Period
about 450 B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), no. 007.


Width: about 15 cm (5 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Greek Archaic Gallery (Gallery 113)


The Ancient World


Architectural elements

The volute comes from left side of a normal Ionic capital with scrolls on two opposite fronts and bolsters on the others. The volute, which is turned 1 3/4 turns, is powerfully convex, being bordered with a thin fillet. On the outer edge (bolster side), the fillet is concave. The volute ends in a rosette with five concave petals and a raised, convex central button. The bolster is undecorated. The abacus is a simple slope on the bolster side. On the front, the profile is damaged.

The three volutes of Ionic capitals acquired in 1984 (1984.440-1984.442) are similar to another in the MFA collection (1961.152), although slightly less complete in two instances. All have the same reputed provenance from Selinunte. Two are from normal Ionics with bolsters adjoining the scrolls, and two are from Ionics with scrolls on adjoining sides.

If all the capitals come from from the same building, this capital with undecorated bolster probably came from the side, while the capital with decorated bolster probably came from the front.

Except at the breaks the fragment has a yellow patina.

Said to be from Selinunte, seemingly from Locri Sicily or Calabria.


Said to come from Selinunte. By 1964, Robert E. Hecht, Jr., New York [see note]; 1984, sold by Robert Hecht to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 12, 1984)

NOTE: Lent to the MFA August 14, 1964 (loan no. 138.64). According to Hecht, he purchased this in 1961 from Adolph Hakenleiter, Rüschlikon, Switzerland, who had inherited it. This information has not been verified.

Credit Line

Benjamin and Lucy Rowland Fund