Cista with cover

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Cista with cover

Italy, Praenestine
Height (from foot to top of handle lid) 14 1/4 inches (362 mm); diameter (at top of cylinder) 8 11/1

Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1907

Item description: 

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.