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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Right Hand
Work Type
150-50 BCE
Hellenistic period
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Marble from Greek islands
7.6 cm (3 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Miss Elizabeth Gaskell Norton, Boston, MA and Miss Margaret Norton, Cambridge, MA (by 1920), gift; to the Fogg Museum, 1920.

Note: The Misses Norton were daughters of Charles Elliot Norton (1827-1908).

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of the Misses Norton
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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Published Catalogue Text: Stone Sculptures: The Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums , written 1990

Right Hand

The hand was joined to the arm by an iron pin, at a point just beyond the wrist. When the hand was detached, this pin split the marble, so that part of the outside of the wrist and arm were broken away. The ends of the thumb and four fingers have been cut away and smoothed, seemingly in antiquity.

This hand is perhaps from a small statue of Aphrodite in the Alexandrian mode. There are several possible explanations for the unusual condition of the thumb and four fingers of this right hand. The hand may have been covering the body in a gesture of modesty, and the sculptor may have cut back the fingers because he miscalculated the position of the right arm. Similarly, the hand may have been holding and partly concealed by a heavy set of tresses. For this reason, also, the fingers and thumb might not have been finished. Finally, it could have been merely that the hand was damaged in antiquity and the fingers later smoothed off.

Cornelius Vermeule and Amy Brauer

Publication History

  • Cornelius C. Vermeule III and Amy Brauer, Stone Sculptures: The Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), p. 90 , no. 73

Verification Level

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