Ash Chest card

Ash Chest

59.148.362a
Double ash chest with two cavities and two inscriptions. The decoration is concentrated on the front with the sides having undecorated recessed panels and the back undecorated though worked smooth. The interior cavities are also smooth. The chest has six very low feet. There is clamp hole in the left side near the top edge at the centre and it is likely that there was corresponding one on the right side but is now obscured by the damage to the chest in that area.Two clamp holes are at the back and the top edge is not shaped to fit a lid. The inscription reads to the left D.M. FESTIVAE FEC.HERMES PATER. The translation is To the Shades of Festiva. Hermes her father made this. To the right: D.M. FLAVIAES.ONE SIMES. VIX.ANN XXVII The translation is to the Shades of Flavia Onesime, who lived 27 years. In the left hand inscription the father and the daughter are only given one name, meaning that they were both slaves. The Flavia Onesime of the second inscription may be freeborn but also a freedwoman, possibly of the Imperial house although her status is not acknowledged. There is no information about the relationship between Flavia Onesime and the father and daughter of the left inscription. The use of the es genitive in the right hand inscription is a variant sometimes used in funerary inscriptions. The use of the Flavian nomen is normally be a free slave from a Flavian Imperial house or a descendant of an imperial freedman. The style of the ash chest is earlier than the Flavian period and it is possible that the inscriptions were added at a later stage. The two framed inscription panels are separated by an acanthus scroll and all around the front there is twisted moulding with the twists arranged in groups of three. The inscription panels are individually framed with a leaf and dart moulding. The acanthus scroll is elegant and is a combination of leaves, flowers and buds. The sides of the chests are treated as coffers with the central portion indented and two raised surrounds.