About this object

Rectangular ash chest of Severina Procilla. The ash chest was originally a double chest with two cavities inside and the central division was moved Inscription restored. There are two clamp holes near the centre top edge of both sides in the form of small holes placed close together. The upper edge is not shaped and the back is undecorated. The chest may have hd two inscription panels but has been restored with one large panel across the width of the chest between the Ammon heads.
The inscription made in the 18th century is
To Severina Procilla. Her bones are placed here. Lucius Severinus, son of Lucius, made this for his mother.
The inscription is well placed with regular well formed letters and great care has been given to it as with the rest of the restorations. The inscription is not implausible in ancient times but the second line is perhaps less common in ash chests of ancient times.
The front corners have the heads of Jupiter Ammon above swans with fruit and flower garlands hanging from the horns of Ammon and looped up in the centre of the ash chest below the inscription panel. In its restored form the central support is button like circular object decorated with a rosette but may not have been the original support. Below the garlands are two garden birds pecking at the fruits. The spaces between the birds and above the garlands are filled with fluttering taeiniae. On the sides are large palmettes. A simple undecorated fascia moulding runs along the top edge of the front and the sides. On the front the lower moulding divides into two by an horizontal groove.
The ash chest in its original form had two inscription panels with the garlands looped up to a garland support between them. Ammon heads are normally above eagles, swans appear below the rams' heads but can be combined together as there is evidence in other ash chests.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    69 AD - 80 AD Early Flavian
  • Materials
  • 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
  • Measurements
    295 mm x 500 mm x 290 mm
  • Note
    Davies (2007) proposed that this ash chest is similar to an ash chest in Milan of C. Terentius Actius; they both have similar palmettes on the sides and similar lively little birds with long tails. The ash chest of Ampudia Amanda in Paris has also the same garland style which is close to that of the Ince chest. The fruit is varied on both ash chests and with some details. Drilling was used to separate the fruit but did not dominate the garland. The two chests may have come from the same workshop (a group of 10 similar ash chests identified by Sinn).
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Antonio d'Este ( Previous owner); Ferdinando Lisandroni ( Previous owner); Joseph William Weld ( Previous owner)

Explore related


  • Ancient Marbles in Great Britain

    Michaelis, A

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

  • 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

  • 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


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: 1789
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Ferdinando Lisandroni

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1789
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Antonio d'Este

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1789
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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