Propped up on her elbow, a girl lies on a kline or couch, petting her small dog and looking at her two dolls, which lie at the foot of the couch. The careful attention given to carving the girl's face as a portrait contrasts with the simplified treatment of her body, whose proportions have been elongated to fill the available space. Her hairstyle dates the work to the time of the emperor Hadrian.
On this funerary sculpture, the child appears with her playthings, showing her in eternity with the things she enjoyed in life. This imagery, drawn from everyday life, differs from the mythological allegories often used on sarcophagi. A small sleeping Cupid, a symbol of premature death, is carved in relief on the top of the couch back.
Beginning in the Augustan period, kline monuments were placed in tombs, either in niches or on flat bases. Eventually, as Roman funerary practices changed, these sculptures began to be used as lids for sarcophagi. This piece has grooves on the underside that would have fit the walls of a sarcophagus; it is the earliest surviving example of such a use.