Marble cinerary urn

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).


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


Medium or Technique

Marble from Carrara in northwest Italy

Not On View


The Ancient World


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.


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