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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Work Type
mid 5th-3rd century BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Etruria
Classical period to Hellenistic
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Leaded bronze
Cast and hammered
8.8 x 6 x 5.5 cm (3 7/16 x 2 3/8 x 2 3/16 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: ICP-MS/AAA data from sample, Leaded Bronze:
Cu, 88.82; Sn, 7.72; Pb, 3.01; Zn, 0.007; Fe, 0.06; Ni, 0.04; Ag, 0.05; Sb, 0.08; As, 0.19; Bi, less than 0.025; Co, 0.023; Au, less than 0.01; Cd, less than 0.001

J. Riederer

Technical Observations: 1920.44.2 and 1920.44.101 both exhibit a light green patina. Much of the metal on 1920.44.2 and 1920.44.101 is mineralized and there are large losses on the shoulders. The handles of both kyathoi have been reattached with adhesive. Corrosion products indicate that the handle for 1920.44.2 probably does belong to this vessel. The corrosion products for 1920.44.101, on the other hand, indicate that the current vessel and handle combination is likely a modern pastiche; the handle is ancient and of a similar shape to the original handle for the vessel, but the current handle is smaller than the original.

Hammer marks are visible on much of the interior and under the rim. A 3-mm center punch mark at the bottom indicates 1992.7 was hand raised. The handle on 1992.7 is solid cast. It was attached with a lead solder that is visible where it meets a notch cut into the rim. There is probably solder residue on the other two vessels, but it is obscured by corrosion products and adhesive. The flat, pointed decoration on the handles of 1920.44.2 and 1920.44.101 may have been made by hammering this area down (that is, by cold working), but the handles are otherwise cast. The decorations on 1992.7, including the Silenus attachment plate and other decorations on the handle and on the vessel body, are very worn from use. The face is probably cast, but the beads along the handle appear to have been formed by cold working in a similar manner to those at the rim. The guilloche bands on the body of 1992.7 were made by tracing a fine rounded point over the surface, probably with a lightweight hammer. Pointed punch marks are also part of the pattern. The beaded lines separating the braids were made using punches with a semicircular tip. None of the surface decorations of 1992.7 are visible on the interior. The thickness of its sides ranges from 0.5 to 1.5 mm, and the rim is 3 mm thick at its maximum.

Henry Lie (submitted 2002)


Recorded Ownership History
Miss Elizabeth Gaskell Norton, Boston, MA and Miss Margaret Norton, Cambridge, MA (by 1920), gift; to the Fogg Art 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: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
A high-looped handle is soldered onto the hammered body of this kyathos below the shoulder and at the rim. The thick, extended rim sits above the shoulder. The body is spool-shaped, wide at the top and bottom, and narrow in the middle. The condition is poor overall; there are repair patches around the shoulder (0.7 x 1.5 cm and 1 x 1.8 cm). There is a break at the top of the handle, where it joins the base of the rim. There are also losses in the shoulder (less than 0.5 cm in length) and at the base (1 x 5 cm).

The kyathoi in the Harvard collection are modeled in fashion similar to types from Todi now in the Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia, Rome (1). Shaped by hammering sheet bronze, each kyathos has a flat bottom and a narrow shoulder and neck, which are complimented by its spool-shaped figure. Tall, stylized loop handles appear to be a consistent feature of Etruscan kyathoi.


1. See L. Bonfante and F. Roncalli, eds., Antichita dall’Umbria a New York, exh. cat. (Perugia, 1991) 348-50, nos. 8.1-2. Compare also R. De Puma, Etruscan Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New Haven, 2013) 80 and 145, nos. 4.46 and 5.2a-d; and A. Naso, I bronzi etruschi e italici del Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Kataloge vor- und frühgeschichtlicher Altertümer 33 (Mainz, 2003) 74-75, no. 115, fig. 36, pl. 41.

Nicola Demonte

Subjects and Contexts

  • Ancient Bronzes

Related Works

Verification Level

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