Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Marble cinerary chest

Early Imperial
1st century A.D.
Overall: 6 1/2 x 8 7/8 x 6 1/2 in. (16.5 x 22.5 x 16.5 cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. S. Paul Jones, 1947
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
The Latin inscription was copied from a Roman funerary plaque and added to this chest during the 17th century. As such it bears witness to the growing awareness of and interest in epigraphy among scholars and collectors in Renaissance Italy. Until the cataloguing of ancient inscriptions began to be systematic and comprehensive in the early 19th century it was quite common for antiquities to be enhanced by the addition of false inscriptions. Indeed, examples of epigraphic forgeries are known even today.
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