- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
- Needle or Pin
- Tools and Equipment
- Work Type
- 1st-5th century CE
- Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Rome (Latium)
- Roman period
- Persistent Link
- Physical Descriptions
- Copper alloy
- 7.7 x 0.7 x 0.6 cm (3 1/16 x 1/4 x 1/4 in.)
- Technical Details
Technical Observations: The patina is green with grayish encrustations from burial. There are deformations to the shaft, and the surface is poorly preserved. The pin was cast with further working by hammering to form the shaft.
Carol Snow (submitted 2002)
- Harold Wilmerding Bell, Cambridge, MA (by 1911), gift; to the Department of the Classics, Harvard University (1911-1977), transfer; to the Fogg Museum.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Transfer from the Department of the Classics, Harvard University, Gift of H. W. Bell
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Published Catalogue Text: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
One end of this pin terminates in a faceted polyhedron that is separated from the shaft by a thin, raised ring. The shaft, undecorated but bent, tapers to a sharp point.
Ancient needles came in a variety of forms and were used for sewing a range of materials, from fine cloth to thick leather (1). Needles are also found sometimes as part of ancient medical instrument kits (2).
1. P. M. Allison, The Insula of the Menander at Pompeii 3: The Finds (Oxford, 2006) 32-33.
2. J. S. Milne, Surgical Instruments in Greek and Roman Times (Oxford, 1907) 74-77; and L. J. Bliquez, Roman Surgical Instruments and Other Minor Objects in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples (Mainz, 1994) 53.
- Subjects and Contexts
Roman Domestic Art
- Related Works
This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at firstname.lastname@example.org