About this object

Ash chest, simply decorated with a framed inscription panel on the front, the sides and the back are smoothly worked but undecorated. The original interior cavity is roughly worked. The top edges of the ash chest werre shaped to hold a lid and have an intermittent groove but have not clamp holes which were perhaps placed at the top centres of the sides which have been restored.
The inscription is an 18th century one and is:
Rubria prima, from Albani, Publius Rubrius Revilis
Friend, hail and farewell: I am placed here
The inscription seems to have been copied in the 17th century from an old Roman inscription from a marble plaque in a columbarium. There is an unusual gap in the third line between REV and ILIS which may have down to a mistake made by the copyist. ( the original Roman inscription read P RVBRIVS P L UTILIS). The formula of the last three lines is unusual for an incription in an ash chest.
The decoration is of two moulded frames on the front, an outer one round the edge and an inner one enclosing the inscription. In both cases the mouldings are of a simple fascia and cyma. The sides also have simple moulding.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy
  • Date made
    18th Century AD reassembled
  • 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
  • Note
    Davies (2007) concluded that it was difficult to assess how much of this ash chest was Roman and that the inscription was an 17th or 18th century restoration. The rest of the ash chest might have been ancient but was significantly broken down and reassembed sometime during its restoration when the inscription was added.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Ciriaco Mattei ( Previous owner); Giuseppe Mattei ( 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

  • Enhancing by inscription in the late eighteenth century: the case of Henry Blundell's Ash Chests

    Davies, G

    Author: Davies, G
    Publisher: Institute of Classical Studies
    Date: 2000

  • 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


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
  • Ciriaco Mattei

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1614
    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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