A “mutilated but handsomely draped statue of a goddess” – the words of Sir Richard Worsley describing this piece after he acquired the statue from the Greek island of Chios during his tour of the Mediterranean in the 1780s.
Whilst on this expedition, he collected many more attractive, complete statues to adorn his house at Appuldurcombe on the Isle of Wight, and this statue was relegated to the gardens of the house, where it was rediscovered when the site was taken into guardianship.
Believing it to be a Victorian copy of an original Hellenic statue, it lay in storage for several years before anyone guessed at its significance, and specialists confirmed its age as Ancient Greek, and its rarity.
Whilst Roman or Neo-classical copies of Greek statues are common – most of the statues you will see at grand stately houses are copies - to find an original Hellenic statue is incredibly rare.
Visit the now ruined house at Appuldurcombe or come and see the statue itself at Fort Brockhurst.
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