Ash chest of Numisia Primigenia, acquired from the Mattei collection and exported by Lisandroni and d' Este. Because of the bibliographical reference to two versions of the same inscription, (Henzen G et al, 1876-1933 ) both with the same text but with different lining and the well preserved state of the inscription it was suggested that either the inscription or the ash chest or both were modern.
The chest is illustrated in the Monumenta Matthaeiana with a different lid no 84 but in the Engravings it is mentioned with a much simpler lid, perhaps no 97.
The ash chest is decorated only at the front with the sides worked smooth but undecorated and the back and bottom roughly worked. The inner cavity is also roughly worked and has clear tool marks. There are no traces of clamps and top edge is shaped to hold the lid. The inscription in the centre at the front is
D(is) M(anibus)/Numi/siae/Prime/geni/ae: to the shades of Numisia Primigenia
The inscription is in a panel which takes up the full height of the chest and with a simply moulded frame with a diagonal groove across each corner. The frame of the panel merges at top and bottom with a plain fascia moulding along the top and bottom of the chest front. On either side of the inscription panel are four vertical flutes, deep and rounded in cross section. Between each pair of flutes is a groove.