Chest-shaped coffin (larnax) with lid

Early Aegean, Minoan
Bronze Age, Late Minoan III A2 Period
about 1350–1300 B.C.


Overall: 86.3 x 40.6 x 122 cm (34 x 16 x 48 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Painted terracotta

On View

Evanthea and Leo Condakes Gallery (Gallery 113A)


The Ancient World


Coffins and sarcophagi

A rectangular chest with orange-brown decoration, one side with three large papyrus plants with two smaller papyrus plants between, the other side with two large papyrus plants and a column of shell motifs between, both sides bordered by vertical wavy lines, one short end with two columns each with three bands of wavy lines, the other end with vertical column of spirals and interlocking “S”-motifs bordered by vertical and wavy lines, the gabled lid with shell motifs on each side, one short end with two spirals, the other with papyrus, the top of the lid with ridge painted with a wavy line, columns and pairs of circular holes pierced through the sides, lid and base, one short leg reattached, lid repaired, three legs missing.

One original leg reattached and three replaced in plaster.


Probably late 19th century, acquired by an anonymous collector (b. 1868 - d. 1931), Finland [see note 1]; by descent within the family to his granddaughter; April 25, 2001, sold by the collector's granddaughter at Christie's, 85 Old Brompton Road, London SW 7 3LD (Christie's South Kensington Sale), lot 291, to Peter and Widgie Aldrich [see note 2]; 2011, gift of Peter and Widgie Aldrich to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 22, 2011)

[1] According to information provided by the family, the collector acquired the larnax in the late 19th century; he was a ship owner and captain. [2] The larnax was placed on loan to the MFA in 2001 (former loan no. L-R 90.2001).

Credit Line

Gift of Peter and Widgie Aldrich