About this object

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
PATER. The translation is To the Shades of Festiva. Hermes her father made this.
To the right:
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.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    1st Century AD Second half (Falvian); 14 AD to 54 AD (Tiberian)
  • 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
    260 mm x 580 mm x 280 mm
  • Note
    Davies (2007) commented that the position of the acanths scroll was very unusual and various elements of the design and style indicated an early date ( the use of low feet, the framed panels and the decorative mouldings on the frames of the inscription). The chest is not illustrated in the Engravings volume but described in the Account where Blundell descibed its lid decorated with roses and scrolls. The ash chest was one in the Monaltini Garddets and the Villa Negroni and was exported by Lisandroni and d'Este in 1789.
  • 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

  • Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum

    Publisher: Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften

  • 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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