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Roman Marble Sarcophagus Section - Floral/Fruit Border

Ancient Rome, ca. 1st to 3rd century CE. An intricately carved section of white marble, originally part of a sarcophagus, depicting a partial image of what appears to be a segment of a floral or foliated border. The decoration on sarcophagi oftentimes included some kind of framework to separate panels that featured figures or scenes. Borders played a critical role to differentiate areas of visual import and emphasis within.

The word sarcophagus literally means "flesh-eater" in Greek. Sarcophagi were coffins used throughout the Roman Empire beginning in the second century CE when inhumation burials became more popular than cremation practices of the Republican and early Imperial periods. The rise in sarcophagi usage was inspired by earlier Etruscan and Greek models. This example came from a particularly luxurious sarcophagus as it was made from marble. Less elite examples were made from other stones, wood, and lead. A wonderful section of a marble sarcophagus intended for an elite individual of ancient Rome. Size: 3.875" L x 5.75" W x 11.875" H (9.8 cm x 14.6 cm x 30.2 cm)

Condition: Expected roughness around edges and normal surface wear and losses, otherwise excellent.

Provenance: private New Jersey USA collection, acquired over twenty years ago

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