Bust of Emperor Hadrian
Head: Roman, first half of the 2nd century AD, beard recarved in the middle of the 13th century
Bust: Venice; second half of the 16th century
Socle: c. 1850
Chalcedony, silver gilt, enamel, pearls, green porphyry
H. 20.8cm; W. 18.8cm; D. 9.5cm
This head dates to the reign of the emperor, though the beard was recarved at the court of Frederick II, who used images of the rulers of ancient Rome to affirm his legitimacy as Holy Roman Emperor. It was offered to the Medici in the 16th century, though they ultimately did not purchase it.