Marble cinerary urn

Roman
Imperial Period, Flavian
about A.D. 69–96


Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 239; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 112 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Height x width x depth: 40.5 (with lid) x 40.5 x 29.5 cm (15 15/16 x 15 15/16 x 11 5/8 in.)

Accession Number

1972.15

Medium or Technique

Marble from Carrara in northwest Italy

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Coffins and sarcophagi

The fillet-bordered, rectangualr nameplate is enframed by eagles holding a garland of fruits or flowers. They stand on one of the ribbons at either end. Seated sphinxes appear below, at the corners, and two birds peck at the buds or fruits between the nameplate and garland. An oak wreath (corona civica), behind which emerge two sea-goats (capricorns) on ribbons and waves, enriches the front of the lid. Their heads form the akroteria of the pedimental cover.
The condition is nearly perfect. The name of the deceased may have been added in paint (no traces), or it may have appeared elsewhere in the columbarium or sepulchral complex.

Scientific Analysis:
Harvard Lab No. HI734: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.25 / delta18O -1.93, Attribution - Carrara, Justification - Very fine grained marble.

Provenance

By 1972: with Miss Jeannette Brun, Dufourstrasse 119, Zurich 8008, Switzerland (from a Swiss private collection, presumably from Italy); purchased by MFA from Miss Jeannette Brun, January 12, 1972

Credit Line

Otis Norcross Fund