Broken left hand

Domus Romana Group
About This Artefact

I.D. no:28976

Dimensions: Max. L. 17 cm; Max. W. 11 cm. Average thickness of fingers at base: 3 cm. (The dimensions are only slightly (c. 10%) larger than normal.

Material: Very fine grain white marble (without any grey veins)

Provenance: The 1881 excavations of the Roman Domus in Rabat, Malta.

Current location: Domvs Romana Museum in Rabat, Malta (in showcase).


Condition: Broken a couple of centimetres up the wrist with the inner end of a dowel hole drilled in the centre of the break. All fingers are missing, practically at the base. A small chip on thumb root.


Description: The hand seems to be extended out without grasping any object, though the fourth and fifth fingers are bent.


Discussion: This hand could not have belonged to the statue of Claudius since the latter has already its own, the more likely one because of its larger size. It could have belonged to one of the three male togate statues represented only by lower legs on bases.

It shows some of the finely worked anatomical features of the hand and wrist.


Bibliography: (previous publications of item):

Caruana 1881: plate at end of publication. Otherwise unpublished.