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Praenestine image

Cista with cover
Praenestine, ca. 300 B.C.
Height (from foot to top of handle lid) 14 1/4 inches (362 mm); diameter (at top of cylinder) 8 11/16 inches (220 mm); (at base of cylinder) 8 1/8 inches (206 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1907; AZ046a-b
See CORSAIR catalog record for this item »

This piece was discovered in the excavation of Palestrina (the ancient Praeneste), near Rome, in 1864. The cista probably dates to Hellenistic period of Etruscan art, between the fourth and first centuries B.C.

The decorative engravings represent figures from ancient Greek mythology, accompanied by inscribed names in the archaic Greek and Latin of the time.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.