Trajan’s Column, Rome

gilded bronze & marble
32-1/2″, ca. 1820

  • Exhibition
  • SFO Airport Museum, All Roads Lead to Rome: 17th-19th Century Souvenirs from the Collection of Piraneseum, January 24-August 13, 2017

Among the most deluxe souvenir architectural models offered to Grand Tourists and others were the highly-detailed gilded bronze reductions made in Rome in the first part of the 19th century. There were several foundries specializing in these refined objects, most prominently that operated by Prussian artisans William Hopfgarten (Berline 1779 – 1860 Rome) and Benjamin Jollage (Berlin 1781 – 1837 Rome). The firm’s other gilded bronze models included the Column of Marcus Aurelius, Arch of Constantine, and Lateran and Flaminian Obelisks.

The offered model is very much along the lines of those cast by Hopfgarten and Jollage, which are always unsigned. The Prussians preferred to render their models as they appeared in antiquity. Thus, Trajan’s Column is topped by Trajan, rather than his replacement, St. Peter. As well, the chiseled Latin inscription over the doorway is similar to the manner of inscriptions seen in other of the firm’s work, including the large, patinated bronze model of the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius, also offered in this sale.