The most celebrated of the cistae
, or jewel-caskets, found in Italy.
It was discovered by an Italian scholar, Ficoroni, in 1745,
at Lugano, about five miles from Palestrina. An Englishman offered him a
large sum for it, but he preferred to present it to the Museo Kircheriano of the Jesuit
College in Rome, where it is still preserved. It is cylindrical in shape, about fifty
centimetres high and forty-two in diameter, and bears upon its somewhat convex side
representations of scenes from the story of the Argonauts. The finish of the drawing and the
freshness and spirit of the composition make the work exceedingly attractive. An inscription
upon it gives the name of the owner and the artist:
Macolnia. Fileai. Dedit
Novios. Plautios. Romai. Fecid Med..
See O. Jahn, Die Ficoronische Cista (1852)