Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Round cinerary urn carved with genii and sphinxes.
  • image Image 1 for M778
  • image Image 2 for M778
  • image Image 1 for M778
  • image Image 2 for M778

Round cinerary urn carved with genii and sphinxes.

Luna marble

Height: 64cm
Height (excluding lid): 42.5cm
Height (pedestal, excluding square base): 12cm
Height (frieze): 23cm
Circumference (lid): 100cm

Museum number: M778

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 355help-vermeule-catalogue-number

On display: Dome Area
All spaces are in No. 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields unless identified as in No. 12, Soane's first house. For tours https://www.soane.org/your-visit

Curatorial note

On the cylindrical body, between incised-wavy-line fillets, the fillet and cyma enframed name plate is flanked by standing Genii - the one to the left leaning on a reversed torch, the one to the right holding a reversed torch pointing towards the ground in his left hand. He is clasping his left shoulder with his right hand and looking outwards. Beneath the name plate are two Sphinxes seated back to back (as on the Roman bench end S143/Vermeule 237). The remainder of the body surface is enriched with convex striated fluting. The inscription has been pronounced false (e.g. added later). For the funerary motive of an inscription flanked by Genii with reversed torches in an urn of similar composition and style, compare H.S. Jones, Catalogue of Ancient Sculptures Preserved in the Municipal Collections of Rome: The Sculptures of the Museo Capitolino, Oxford, 1912, p.58, no.19, pl.11, which is said may be the circular cinerarium of Junius Bassus, the friend of Ovid.


Description of Sir John Soane's Museum, 1930, p.84, fig. 50 (lower left)
Corpus Inscriptiorum Latinarum, VI, 5, 3643.

Soane collections online is being continually updated. If you wish to find out more or if you have any further information about this object please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk