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Identification and Creation
Object Number
Oinochoe Handle with Terminus Palmette and Ducks
Work Type
second half 6th-first half 5th century BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Etruria
Archaic period, Late, to Early Classical
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Copper alloy
Cast, lost-wax process
14 x 10 x 5.4 cm (5 1/2 x 3 15/16 x 2 1/8 in.)
Technical Details

Technical Observations: The patina is green with areas of red. The handle was carefully cleaned and has a well-preserved surface.

The handle was probably cast using the indirect lost-wax technique. The vertical section is hollow, with black core material present at the top and brown burial accretions preserved at the bottom. The top area was cast and finished with a file to join securely with the rim of the vessel, and scrape marks on the back of the decorative bottom section show the effort to match that surface to the shoulder of the vessel; no lead solder is visible. Two pins (2.5 mm in diameter) secured the top to the rim and one secured the center of the lower attachment plate to the vessel’s body. These pins are partially intact, although mostly in the form of corrosion products. The decorative relief appears to have been cast in the wax model for the most part, perhaps with some direct working in the wax. The very faint lines in this decoration may have been reinforced with cold working.

Henry Lie (submitted 2001)

[Charles Ede Limited, London, by 1987] sold; to The Alice Corinne McDaniel Collection, Department of the Classics, Harvard University (1987-2012), 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
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Published Catalogue Text: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
The terminal of this oinochoe handle is elaborately decorated (1). The handle divides into two sections: the upper portion, which has two arms with piriform terminals, and the grip portion, which has an ornate terminal. The upper arms are divided into six segments but hollow underneath. The long, curved handle is divided into six sides of varying widths, with the underside being the widest. At the bottom of the handle are two relief lines with rope-like divisions above a segmented shape; each segment is also divided by two relief lines. Between the segmented shape and the lower portion of the terminus are two more relief lines. The rest of the terminal consists of an inverted palmette. The top-most leaves of the palmette are in the shape of ducks, with the eyes and stylized feathers and wings indicated. Three rivet holes (one in the center of the palmette, and one each in the terminus of the upper arms) were included in the design of the handle to allow it to be attached to a separately made vessel.


1. For the general form, compare B. Bouloumié, Les oenochoés en bronze du type “Schnabelkanne” en Italie (Rome, 1973) 96 and 98, nos. 142 and 145, pls. 41-42; A. Naso, I bronzi etruschi e italici del Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Kataloge vor- und frühgeschichtlicher Altertümer 33 (Mainz, 2003) 64-66, nos. 100 and 102, pls. 36-37.

Lisa M. Anderson

Subjects and Contexts

Ancient Bronzes

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