"This Roman marble urn with cover dates from the 1st century BC-AD. The cover is thought to be a later addition. It is intricately decorated with a bird and foliate motif carved in mid-relief. The two handles emanate from the rim in the shape of intertwined branches which spread around the entire body of the vase terminating in leaves and berries carved, with stylised birds sitting on the branches and peaking at berries. In 1875 it is recorded in the catalogue of Osborne House as an 'Antique Marble Vase with a cover ornamented with bas-reliefs of birds and foliage (...) Purchased by the Prince Consort in 1859'. However according to Henry Moses's catalogue ?A Collection of Antique Vases, Altars, Paterae, Tripods, Candelabra, Sarcophagi & c. from various museums and collections? published in October 1814, it seems that the urn had been formerly in George IV's collection. In Plate 28 of his catalogue, there is an illustration of an identical object which Moses describes as ?From a vase in the Possession of His Majesty?. It is possible that the vase may have been sold after 1814 and was acquired again by Prince Albert in 1859. Prince Albert acquired it for Osborne House where it was displayed in the upper corridor on the first floor."

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  • Title: Urn and lid
  • Creator: Roman
  • Physical Dimensions: 53.5 x 44.0 x 28.0 cm (whole object)
  • Provenance: Purchased by Prince Albert in 1859.
  • Type: Urn
  • Contributor: Royal Collection trust
  • Rights: Royal Collection Trust / ¸ Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018
  • External Link: https://www.rct.uk/collection/31660
  • Medium: Marble