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Identification and Creation
Object Number
Tools and Equipment
Work Type
2nd-5th century CE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Rome (Latium)
Roman Imperial period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Leaded brass
15.6 x 3.7 cm (6 1/8 x 1 7/16 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: ICP-MS/AAA data from sample, Leaded Brass:
Cu, 80.3; Sn, 1.37; Pb, 4.39; Zn, 12.68; Fe, 0.52; Ni, 0.24; Ag, 0.08; Sb, 0.16; As, 0.26; Bi, less than 0.025; Co, 0.014; Au, less than 0.01; Cd, less than 0.001
J. Riederer

Technical Observations: The patinas are dull gray and green with thick mineral encrustations. The objects are basically intact, but the surface detail is poorly preserved.

The two spoons were made by casting the rough shape and then working to further shape the bowl of the spoon and finish the surface. The pattern of the corrosion and encrustations suggest that the two spoons were buried with 1977.216.2202.2 on top of 1977.216.2202.1. A gray material preserved in a few places on 1977.216.2202.1 may be silver.

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:
The oblong bowl of this spoon is large and shallow. A central spine runs from the handle to the midpoint of the exterior of the bowl. The handle narrows where it connects with the bowl. Its piriform finial may represent a pinecone (1).

It is difficult to date this type of spoon closely. Examples have been published and dated to the Roman period generally (2), although others have been dated to the post-medieval period (3).


1. Compare G. Zampieri and B. Lavarone, eds., Bronzi antichi del Museo Archaeologico di Padova, exh. cat., Museo Archeologico Padova (Rome, 2000) 203, nos. 405.a-c.

2. See Zampieri and Lavarone 2000 (supra 1) 198-201, nos. 397.a-s, 398.a-p, and 400.a-c. See also the range of Roman spoons in M. Garsson, ed., Une histoire d’alliage: Les bronzes antiques des réserves du Musée d’Archéologie Méditerranéenne, exh. cat. (Marseille, 2004) 42, nos. 60-65.
3. See examples recorded by Britain’s Portable Antiquities Scheme, such as nos. SOM-50DA73 and LANCUM-5C95F5, which are dated to the sixteenth to seventeenth centuries CE.

David Smart and Lisa M. Anderson

Subjects and Contexts

Ancient Bronzes

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