Ash Chest



Rectangular double ash chest with most of the front of teh chest recut to create a smooth new surface for the inscriptions. The inscription on the left panel is: D M CALIDIAE VRSLIAE V.A.XXXII.M.VI.D.X L.CALIDIVS BVCVLVS LIBERTAE PIENTISSIMAE ET INCOMPARABILI FECIT The translation couldbe:To the Shades of Calidia Ursilia, who lived 32 years 6 months and 10 days. Lucius Calidius Buculus made this for his very dutiful and incomparable freedwoman. To the right panel: D M TELESPHORI PRIMITIVI VIXIT AN.VIIII MEN.III DIEBVS XVI. HORIS X POSVIT ONESIMVS PATER The translation for this would be: to the Shades s of Telesphorus Primitivus who lived 9 years, 3 months,16 days and 10 hours. Onesimus his father set it up. There appears to be no link between the two insciptions which may have been copied by different sources. The original chest had two cavities and no inscriptions as it was illustrated in the Monumenta Matthaeiana but had the inscriptions in the Engravings volume. It is likely that the inscriptions were added sometime before they left Italy and the Mattei collection. There may have been two stages to the restoration: one when the original inscription was smoothened out and when the carving of the central pillar was made. At a later stage the current inscriptions were added. The sides have no decoration apart from a moulding at the top and bottom: a narrow fascia with a twisted or spiral design followed by a plain cyma. On either side of the front there is a vertical row of three rosettes in high relief. Each rosette has fice petals. In between the incription panels which are defined by a groove and separated by a band of irregularly spaced diagonal grooves, arranged to give the impression of a spirally fluted column with no base or a capital.