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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Aberdeen Head

This head is rare, as far as Greek statuary is concerned, in being an original rather than a Roman copy. Such is its quality that it has been associated with the best-known sculptors of the fourth century BCE, Praxiteles and Skopas. There is no evidence for this, though its style does point to a date between 325 and 280 BCE.

It is the head of a young, idealised male. Holes in the head show that it would have originally worn a wreath — perhaps indicating an athlete. It gets its name from having once belonged to George Hamilton Gordon, fourth Earl of Aberdeen

Parian marble
Location of Original: 

London, British Museum 1600


Purchased in 1922 from the British Museum


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 242 (n.2)
Smith: Catalogue of British Museum Sculpture III (1904), 39, pl. III
Buschor: Das Hellenistische Bildnis (1949), 9, fig.12
Burn: Greek and Roman Art (1991), 72

Probably late C4 BCE

Said to have been taken from Greece about 1803 by the fourth Earl of Aberdeen

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