A remarkable and rare superbly carved George II Carrara marble Frieze. c.1750
The deep, yet airy and delicate carved relief of the marble frieze is adorned with interlacing Classical Roman decorative motifs, Roman arabesque vine scrolls of tendrils and flowers. The work is based around the ornamentation within the Ara Pacis Augustae in Rome (an altar in Rome dedicated to Pax, the Roman Goddess of Peace 13-9 BC), specifically the lower half of the “Tellus Panel”.
An ‘Aegicrane’ (ornamental goats skull) is located centrally. From the skull an opulent garland of fruits and leaves is suspended to left and right.
The aegicrane are also found as "bucranium", the Cows’ skull (latin bucranium which comes from Ancient Greek). Bucranium was a form of carved decoration commonly used in Classical architecture.
The name is generally considered to originate with the practice of displaying garlanded, sacrificial oxen, whose heads were displayed on the walls of temples, dating back to Neolithic eastern Anatolia, where cattle skulls were overlaid with white plaster.
Originating from an private Country House collection in Southern England.
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