Ash Chest Lid



Lid of ash chest. Davies observed (2007, 119) that although the lid is associated both in the 'Engravings' and the 'Account' with the ash chest of Calidia Ursilia (59.148.346), the lid appears to fit the chest of Ellius Rufus (59.148.314a). Probably acquired from the Mattei collection it appeared in the Monumenta Matthaeiana on top of the ash chest of Ellius Rufus. It is difficult to see from the drawing that this was this lid. In the Engravings it was associated with the ash chest of Calidia Ursilia. The size is right for the chest of Ellius Rufus and both the chest and the lid have clamp holes in the sides. The lid is shaped like a low pitched roof with bolsters along the sides and a pediment at the front and the back. The top surface and the pediment are elaborately decorated but the back is undecorated. The sides have rectangular clamp holes and the ridge of the roof is marked by a plan narrow band running along it and a broad band running at right angles to this across the middle of the lid. This area is decorated with a stylised leaf pattern and rosettes in the bolster end of the front. The front pediment contains a symmetrical design of flowers, leaves and plant tendrils growing from a central calyx. This rests is on a simple fascia. The rosettes in the pediment and the bolster have four petals. Lids of this type were popular at different Roman times but the shape with the bolsters and the low pediment was more of the earlier Julio Claudian times rather than later on. The lid may have belonged to the ash chest of Elliius Rufus and it is dated in the same time Claudian, Neronian time.