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Ivory comb of Modestina

 

Length: 5.000 inches

Morel Collection

GR 1904.2-4.1168

Room 69: Greek and Roman life

    Ivory comb of Modestina

    Roman, probably 3rd-4th century AD

    A comb bearing the owner's name

    This double-sided comb probably came from a woman's grave. The inscription has sometimes been explained as Modestina Vale ('Modestina, farewell'), but in that case the final word would be mis-spelt. It is therefore more likely that the last four letters are initials, perhaps standing for an expression meaning an admirable and outstanding woman.

    , A guide to the exhibition illu, 3rd ed. (London, British Museum, 1929)