About this object

Rectangular ash chest decorated on all sides and with four low feet. The interior cavity is hollowed out and worked quite smoothly. The cutting for the lid is unsual, there is a raised strip along the outer edge of the top of the sides and back but not all along the top edge of the front. It looks like the lid was meant to slide into the place from the front. Clamp holes are at the top in the centre of all the four sides and are deep and rectangular in shape. The decoration is in the form of various frames on all four sides. The inscription panel at the front is raised from the surface of the chest and placed inside a frame made up of a cyma and plain fascia moulding.
The inscription is DM
ET CINERIBUS Q.C
P.F.
The letters are elegant and well formed but the space arrangement is not that good. The Q has a long tail. In addition the form of the inscription is strange and does not make much sense 'D.M et cineribus means to the Shades and to the Ashes. It is difficult to interpret what the QCPF stand for. Similar features such as the Q.C.P.F but TPAG apppear in an inscription in the Monumenta Matthaeiana and both inscriptions may have been created at the same time. The Mattei collection also has a third similar inscription from a funerary altar commemorating Quintus Mutius. Similarities between this inscription and 59.148.344 include the long slanting of the letter Q. The Quintus Mutius inscription is a modern addition to the uniscribed altar and it was probably created in 1600 when a member of the Mattei family was called Muzio. The letters QCPF and TPAG in both inscriptions may have had some significance for the Mattei family.
On the back of the chest there is a rectangular plain field outlined with a deep wide groove and a plain fascia round the outside. On the sides the decoration is similar to the back but the panel contains a large tabula ansata in low relief. This covers the panel but is undecorated and uniscribed. The irregularity of the designs may suggest that the decoration of the chest is unfinished.
The inscription is a later addition to the ash chest which may be ancient and perhaps of an early date. Particular features that suggest an early date are the elegance of the proportions and the simplicity of the decoration and the simpicity was perhaps a matter of choise for the purchaser rather than because he could not afford anything fancier. The low feet are also a feature of an early date as well as is the tendency to decorate all four sides and to frame each face with a moulding.

Early illustrations show this chest with a plain lid with an undecorated pediment which has not been identified in the Ince Blundell collection.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Religion
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    1 AD - 35 AD
  • 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
    310 mm x 350 mm x 405 mm
  • Note
    Engr. 140,2 It was included in the Monumenta Matthaeiana. Davies (2007) concluded that the inscription was not ancient.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Antonio d'Este ( Previous owner); Ferdinando Lisandroni ( 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:

  • Roman Cineraria in 'Monumenta Mattheiana' and the Collection of Henry Blundell at Ince

    Davies, G

    Author: Davies, G
    Publisher:
    Date: 1990
    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
  • 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
  • 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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