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Roman white marble portrait head of Emperor Titus Caesar Vespasianus, estimated at $10,000-$15,000 at Freeman’s Hindman.

Roman marble portrait head of Titus might triumph at Freeman’s Hindman May 23

CHICAGO – This 7in (18cm) high Roman marble portrait head is making a relatively speedy return to the auction block. It appeared for sale at Doyle New York as recently as October 2023, when it was cataloged as ‘Imperial Roman style’ and thought to depict the emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, known as Caracalla. Then estimated at $300-$600, it sold for $5,670.

It will be presented at Freeman’s Hindman on Thursday, May 23 as part of a dedicated auction of Antiquities and Ancient Art. The catalog for the sale is now open for bidding at LiveAuctioneers. The portrait head has since been fully attributed to the Flavian period, and a compelling case has been made to suggest it is a portrait of the short-lived emperor Titus Caesar Vespasianus (79-81 AD). He is best known for overseeing the brutal suppression of Judea’s Civil War and inaugurating the Flavian Amphitheater, what we now know as the Colosseum, with 100 days of gladiatorial games.

Vesuvius erupted during Titus Caesar Vespasianus’s brief tenure, shrouding the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in volcanic ash. The portrait head depicting him is estimated at $10,000-$15,000.