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Identification and Creation

Object Number
2012.1.57
Title
Bone Bodkin
Classification
Tools and Equipment
Work Type
needle
Date
2nd-5th century
Period
Roman Imperial period
Culture
Roman
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/178406

Location

Location
Level 3, Room 3620, University Study Gallery
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Physical Descriptions

Medium
Bone
Technique
Carved
Dimensions
14.86 cm (5 7/8 in.)

Provenance

Recorded Ownership History
The Alice Corinne McDaniel Collection, Department of the Classics, Harvard University (before 1970-2012), transfer; to the Harvard Art Museums, 2012.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Transfer from the Alice Corinne McDaniel Collection, Department of the Classics, Harvard University
Accession Year
2012
Object Number
2012.1.57
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
Permissions

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Descriptions

Description
Carved bone bodkin, with a flat head. The shaft tapers to a dull point. An oblong hole (the eye) is carved in the head and flanked by two smaller circular holes above and below.
Commentary
A bodkin had many uses but was perhaps most typically used to thread laces made of cords or ribbons. It may also have been used as a clothing fastener.

Publication History

  • John Crawford, Sidney Goldstein, George M. A. Hanfmann, John Kroll, Judith Lerner, Miranda Marvin, Charlotte Moore, and Duane Roller, Objects of Ancient Daily Life. A Catalogue of the Alice Corinne McDaniel Collection Belonging to the Department of the Classics, Harvard University, ed. Jane Waldbaum, Department of the Classics (unpublished manuscript, 1970), BI45, p. 142 [J. A. Lerner]

Exhibition History

  • 32Q: 3620 University Study Gallery, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/20/2024 - 05/05/2024