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Source Image: PR202_02_07 of Corinthian Capital (Standing) of Temple of Vespasian

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Description

Detail of a Corinthian capital.

Monument
Temple of Vespasian 
Monument Part
Corinthian Capital (Standing) 
Monument Type
Architecture 
Material(s)
Luna Marble (Archaeometric identification)  
Date
ad 79 - circa ad 87 
Keywords
FoliageCorinthian Capital  
Collections
Temple of Vespasian, Rome  

Location

Original Location
Rome 

Evidence for working practices

1. - Toolmarks

Process
Fine shaping
Tool
Roundel
Method
Angle: Shallow (40-50°)
Force: Gentle
Description
A narrow roundel or perhaps a narrow round-ended channelling tool was used prior to the drill to cut a channel down the corner of the block into which the row of holes would be drilled; this channel made it easier for the drill operator to get purchase on the corner of the block.

1. - Toolmarks

Process
Smoothing
Tool
Flat Chisel
Method
Angle: Shallow (40-50°)
Force: Gentle
Description
The marks of the flat chisel can be seen on the smooth surface beneath the prominent drill holes.

1. - Toolmarks

Process
Removal
Tool
Point
Method
Angle: Steep (60-70°)
Force: Medium
Description
Marks of the point chisel can be seen on the top of the leaf to the left. This looks like an area of breakage and the point chisel was probably used to hollow out this section for the insertion of a replacement piece.

2. Toolmarks

Process
Detailing
Tool
Drill
Method
Vertical (90°)
Description
Numerous drill holes can be seen in this detail; this was a first stage of work for the carving of the deep grooves in the acanthus leaves that make up the Corinthian capital.

Notes

The modern wooden dowels in this image show that each of the series of holes drilled down the corner of this capital are actually comprised of two different alignments. These drill holes were a first phase of work and a channelling tool or flat chisel would then have been used to carved between them. Drilling holes at different angles would have made it easier to carve between them later. For some reason work on this section was never completed, perhaps because it was not visible from below. Capitals like this could have been carved on the ground before they were inserted into the finished structure and it could well have been the case that this capital was needed before the carver, working on the ground, had finished everything.

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