Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies
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By the kindness of Philip Nelson, Esq., M. B., I am enabled to publish another head which he has recently acquired, and which is, perhaps, even more interesting than the head of an athlete from the same collection that I published last year. The Athena, which forms the subject of the present paper, was a part of the collection of sculpture made in Italy by Hollis and Brand, mostly from 1748-1753; this particular head is said to have been brought from Rome by Mr. Lloyd, and bought of him by Mr. Thomas Hollis in 1761. Together with the rest of this collection it passed into the hands of John Disney, and is represented upon Plate I. of the Museum Disneianum, published by him in 1843;and this place of honour is certainly merited, for it stands out most conspicuously for its artistic quality among the rest of the Disney marbles. When Disney in 1850 presented the greater part of his collection to the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge, this head of Athena, and also the archaic statuette of Apollo, represented on Plate XXIV. of the Museum Disneianum, remained behind at the Hyde, Ingatestone. There it was left until disposed of by sale in 1885 ;but it aroused no attention until its acquisition by Dr. Nelson, to whom I am indebted not only for my knowledge of the head, but also for the admirable negatives from which Plate I. has been reproduced.<br><br>Perhaps it is not quite correct to call the head unpublished, since it is figured in the Museum Disneianum; but the plates of that publication are inadequate to give any notion of the style and character of the work. The type, however, is of such interest that it may be a matter of surprise that no archaeologist has hitherto attempted to find out more about the Disney head. This may be partly explained by the fact that a curious error has crept into Professor Michaelis’ usually most accurate catalogue of the Ancient Marbles in Great Britain.
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