Tarantine limestone column capital

Greek period, late 4th-early 3rd century B.C.
H. 8.4 cm (3 5⁄16 in) W. 24 cm (9 29⁄64 in) D. 21.5 cm (8 15⁄32 in)

Private collection, Switzerland, since 1974

The column capital is decorated with delicately, well-modelled, acanthus leaves, which extend into each corner and are topped with a scrolling volute. Three sides are decorated with a central palmette.

The capital is of the Corinthian order but reinterpreted to satisfy local taste. There are numerous examples of similar fragments from the southern Italian site of Taranto. 
The stone is a soft limestone, known as pietra di Trani (after the eponymous city of Puglia). It is similar to marble, but its light colour is tending towards a warm creamy yellow. 

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