A helmeted soldier
Marble, a helmeted soldier, c. 2nd century AD. A statue fragment of a young soldier wearing a helmet and cloak fastened on the proper right shoulder. Mounted on a later tabula and turned socle. The fragment has been cut down to a bust from a statue which was presumably in poor condition. It has been suggested that the figure might show the Roman general Scipio Africanus (236-183 BC) but there is no evidence to prove this. The tip of the nose, both earpieces, a portion of the uppermost fold of the cloak over the chest, and the left shoulder with a significant area at the back are restored. The crest of the helmet was restored, attached by a metal pin, but is now lost.
The face, hair and cloak are derived from the Hermes Richelieu type (Arachne, type 287). The Farnborough version, however, wears a decorated Attic helmet (i.e. a helmet from ancient Athens), which indicates that the 4th century BC model of the Hermes Richelieu appears to have been adapted by a sculptor of the 2nd century AD (Scholl 1995, pp.39-40). The sculpture collected by William Holbech (d.1771) is a mixture of antique and contemporary Roman work assembled on Grand Tour and via agents in Rome from around 1732 to 1745 . Holbech's collection is considered a forerunner of its type as most Grand Tour collections were assembled in the 1760s. The classical statuary comprised of busts, tondos and reliefs is installed in purpose-built niches at Farnborough Hall, a former medieval manor house which Holbech remodeled in the style of a Palladian villa. Alice Rylance-Watson December 2018
Haworth 1999, 2003: Jeffrey Haworth, Farnborough Hall, Warwickshire, The National Trust, London 1999, reprinted 2003. Scholl 1995: Andreas Scholl, Die antiken Skulpturen in Farnborough Hall sowie in Althorp House, Blenheim Palace, Lyme Park and Penrice Castle, Monumenta artis Romanae. Antike Skulpturen in englischen Schlössern, 23, Mainz am Rhein, 1995, pp.39-40, SC. F 2, pls. 18-19.