About this object

Rectangular ash chest of C. Iulius Hirmaiscus. The chest is decorated on three sides and the back is not decorated. The cavity is finished at the top rather than more roughly worked below. There are clamp holes on the sides and a circular hole drilled into the top edge of the chest at the front corner and the back right corner. The top edge of the chest is shaped to hold the lid.
The inscription:
C.IVLIVS
HIRMAISCVS
VIXIT, ANN.XXI
Gaius Iulius/Hirmaiscus/vixit annis XXI.
At the front there are also columns with spirally fluted shafts and ionic capitals. The details of the capitals are more preserved on the sides. The carving of the flutes is very fine and the columns have high moulded bases. A fruit and flower garland hangs down from the capitals in the arc below the inscription panel. The lunette above has an eagle with spread wings and below the corner smaller birds faving outwards but with the heads turning backwards to peck at the garland. On the sides and within a panel framed by a plan fascia moulding along the top, bottom and back is a large palmette with two six petalled rosettes at the top. All the motifs were popular for ash chests, sometimes garlands were supported by masks and heads but columns were known for more architectural designs. The eagle wasan attribute of Jupiter and was later associated with the apotheosis of the Emperor although not before the end of the late 1st century AD. The garland is drilled with narrow bridges of stone connecting the fruits but only the detail on the birds was worked with a chisel. The artist put some effort in making all the fruit looking different and in showing some detail: the style of the garland is similar to various examples dated between late Claudian and early Flavian period. Spiral columns with Ionic capitals are used from late Claudian to Trajanic times.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Religion
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    54 AD - 68 AD Neronian possibly
  • Materials
    Marble
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date collected
    1789
  • Measurements
    260 mm x 320 mm x 300 mm
  • Note
    Davies (2007) commented on the high quality of the work but the perhaps unimaginative design. In the Monumenta the ash chest appears rather sketchy and is with another lid.no.62. In the engravings it is with lid no 64. The ash chest was displayed at Ince in a niche on the staircase and was used as a base for a statue.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Giuseppe Mattei ( Previous owner); Joseph William Weld ( Previous owner)

Explore related

Publications

  • Ancient Marbles in Great Britain

    Michaelis, A

    Author: Michaelis, A
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Date: 1882
    Description:

  • Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum

    Author:
    Publisher: Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften
    Date:
    Description:

  • Monumenta Matthaeiana

    Venuti, R; Armadutio, J C

    Author: Venuti, R; Armadutio, J C
    Publisher:
    Date: 1778
    Description:

  • The Ince Blundell Collection of Classical Sculpture. Volume 2 - The Ash Chests and other Funerary Reliefs

    Davies, Glenys

    Author: Davies, Glenys
    Publisher: Verlag Philipp von Zabern
    Date: 2007
    Description:

  • The Inscriptions on the Ash Chests of the Ince Blundell Hall Collection: Ancient and Modern

    Davies, Glenys

    Author: Davies, Glenys
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press
    Date: 2000
    Description:

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Henry Blundell

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Giuseppe Mattei

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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