Lot 44

A Flavian marble cinerary urn, last quarter of the 1st century

Works of Art, Antiquities, Asian and Russian Art | A94kua | Live auction | 479 Lots


Cinerary urn in the shape of a miniature sarcophagus made of two parts with a width of 31 cm and a depth of 24 cm. Height without lid 21.5 cm, with lid 30 cm. Inside the cuboid lower part a box of 28 cm height, with a depth and width of 17 cm and 22 cm, respectively. The inner walls of the box and the bottom completely covered with traces of the chisel. The thick outer wall of the chest with a raised rim on the inside that fits into a groove on the underside of the lid. The lid in the shape of a low gabled roof, the corners of which are decorated with acroteria. The acroteria on the obverse and on the sides with palmettes. The interior field of the gable recessed at the front, the edges decorated with an incised line. In the centre a shell with a female portrait characterised by a hairstyle typical for the time of the Flavians (tower of curls above the forehead and nest of braided hair at the back of the head). On the face of the chest a framed inscription panel with a recessed inner field at the top centre, surrounded by a relief with two eagles on the sides holding a garland in their beaks that droops underneath the inscription plate. The space between the lower edge of the inscription panel and the garland is filled with a bird pecking fruit from an overturned basket. The depiction of the eagles continued around the corner, but only with incised lines and no longer in relief on a recessed background. The inscription names Lucius Sariolenus Achillaeus, member of a plebeian family of senatorial rank, who died at the age of 25 and whose friend Gaius Octavius Mnestus arranged for the cinerary urn to be made: D(iis) M(anibus) L(ucio) SARIOLENO / ACHILLAEO / G(aius) OCTAVIVS / MNESTVS / AMICO B(ene) M(erenti) FECIT / VIX(it) AN(nos) XXV. Apart from a horizontal crack in the lower part on the obverse, which extends to the middle of the left side and over the entire right side, the cinerary urn is excellently preserved. Remnants of red pigments clearly visible in the depressions of the letters. Published in the journal "L' Année épigraphique" 2006, 1825.

Provenance: From a French private collection, acquired before 2000.

Condition: I - II Questions about the lot?

General Information

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