Volute of Ionic corner 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


Not On View


The Ancient World


Architectural elements

The wedge-shaped fragment is formed by two volutes meeting at an oblique angle. Below, the space between the volutes is hollowed out; this is hardly noticeable since the lower parts of the volutes are broken away. The volutes themselves are convex and turned almost two full turns. They are bordered by fillets of wedge-shaped profile and terminate in a flat disc. The edge of the capital is a concave channel with a center line and separated from the volute faces by a ridge.

These volutes probably come from a corner of a pediment, where two scroll sides are placed toward the outside of the pediment and two bolster sides are placed toward the interior. It is much less likely that stem from a “four-sided” Ionic, in which all sides are identical, having a pair of scrolls on each face.

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.

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. 140.64). 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