Seller: artemisgallery (680) 100%, Location: Louisville, CO, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 381620217352 Lovely Roman Marble Fragment of Sarcophagus w/ Griffin Roman Empire, ca. 2nd to 3rd century CE. An impressive section of a Roman marble sarcophagus featuring a finely carved relief of a winged griffin raising one of its paws toward an extended circular form, perhaps a wreath held by Eros given the wings depicted above. The griffin, was regarded as an exceptionally majestic, mighty creature, the king of all creatures in fact, since it was part lion (king of the beasts) and part eagle (king of the birds). It is particularly fitting that this sarcophagus is decorated with griffins, because griffins were revered for their ablility to guard treasure, in this case the deceased, in ancient times. What's more, during antiquity the griffin, symbolizing divine power, was understood as a guardian of the divine. Examples of Roman sarcophagi adorned with griffins reside in the most esteemed museum collections. For a superb example in the Walters Art Museum, follow this link http://art.thewalters.org/detail/3446/sarcophagus-with-griffins/ 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 from ancient Rome! What's more, the reserve on this is quite a steal! Size: 6.5" deep x 10" W x 9.75" H (16.5 cm x 25.4 cm x 24.8 cm) #112805 Condition: A large fragment with expected surface wear in overall excellent condition. Provenance: Ex - Private CT. collection, acquired from Alexander Fine Art, 1999. All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back. All items come with a Certificate of Authenticity Powered by eBay Turbo Lister The free listing tool. List your items fast and easy and manage your active items.