Lower part of a marble relief with two goddesses, Imperial Rome, 1st–2nd century A.D. Marble, 53 1/2 in. (135.9 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fletcher Fund, 1924. 24.97.99
From the Metropolitan Museum of Art website: “The two goddesses are closely related to the figures of Demeter and Persephone on the Great Eleusinian Relief. . . .The altarlike incense burner between them must be an addition of the Roman copyist. This relief is said to have been found at Eleusis.”
The British Museum describes this small mummy-portrait as “cheerful” if “rather amateurish.” It also notes her jewelry—the snake bracelet, the dangling earrings, the layered necklaces—and, last but not least, the small bottle she clasps:
“In her hand she holds a small unguentarium, or bottle for scented oils, which were often placed in graves as offerings to the dead. Here, perhaps, it is simply intended to represent a bottle of her favorite perfume.”
Indeed. If you were an ancient Egyptian, wouldn’t you want to take your favorite fragrances into the afterlife with you? I would.
Source: Paul Roberts, Mummy Portraits of Roman Egypt. London, The British Museum, 2008.