Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
1986.515
Title
Armlet
Classification
Jewelry
Work Type
bracelet
Date
8th-first half 7th century BCE
Places
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Northern Greece
Period
Geometric period to Orientalizing
Culture
Greek
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/303707
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Bronze
Technique
Cast, lost-wax process
Dimensions
diam. 13.8 x w. (of coil) 4.8 cm (5 7/16 x 1 7/8 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: ICP-MS/AAA data from sample, Leaded Bronze:

Cu, 79.01; Sn, 8.51; Pb, 12.43; Zn, 0.003; Fe, 0.01; Ni, 0.02; Ag, 0.02; Sb, less than 0.02; As, less than 0.10; Bi, less than 0.025; Co, less than 0.005; Au, less than 0.01; Cd, less than 0.001

ICP-MS/AAA data from sample, Bronze:

Cu, 88.78; Sn, 10.17; Pb, 0.6; Zn, 0.007; Fe, 0.06; Ni, 0.04; Ag, 0.06; Sb, 0.15; As, 0.11; Bi, less than 0.025; Co, 0.018; Au, less than 0.01; Cd, less than 0.001

J. Riederer

Comments: This object was only supposed to be sampled once. The two samples are different enough that one may be mislabeled and may belong to another object.

Technical Observations: The patina features green, red, and brown corrosion over areas of bare metal, some of which appears pitted from previous cleaning campaigns. The heavy armlet is intact. A few minor casting flaws are present. A few gouges in the surface show bare metal and are probably modern.

The armlet is a solid cast, and dendrites are clearly visible under the microscope on the outer surface. The general outlines in the design may have been done in the wax model prior to casting, but the smaller squares and circular designs appear to have been cut in the metal.


Carol Snow (submitted 2002)

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Robert A. Kagan
Accession Year
1986
Object Number
1986.515
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.
Descriptions

Published Catalogue Text: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
This massive armlet or anklet is solid cast, with marks of workmanship on the interior side, and it terminates in two upward-curving flat-ended stubs that are marked by circular punches. The exterior is carinated. The zones behind the upward-turned ends are marked by carefully incised lozenges, which alternate between plain and finely crosshatched. Next to this on both sides are square zones of concentric chevrons, the tips of which cross and form opposing triangles. The main zones of the bracelet consist of outer bands of alternating blank and crosshatched triangles. At either end of the main zone are clusters of large and small punched circles. Below this, the main zones are unadorned, except for three widely spaced punched circles.

This massive object belongs to a group of southern Balkan and northern Greek Iron Age bracelets dating to the eighth and early seventh centuries BCE (1). It is possible that these objects could also have served as items of currency or conceivably as weights, perhaps even instruments of athletic activities, such as jumping weights. However, where they have been excavated in tombs in Albania and elsewhere in the southern Balkans, they occur in pairs, making their function as objects of personal adornment more likely.

NOTES:

1. For parallels, see K. Schefold, Meisterwerke griechischer Kunst (Basel, 1960) 129 and 132, nos. I.68-69; Early Art in Greece: The Cycladic, Minoan, Mycenaean, and Geometric Periods 3000-700 BC, Andre Emmerich Gallery, Inc. (New York), May 7-June 11, 1965, lots 104-105; J. Bouzek, Graeco-Macedonian Bronzes (Prague, 1974) 124-26, type D2, fig. 40, pls. 29-30; K. Kilian, “Trachtzubehör der Eisenzeit zwischen Ägäis und Adria,” Prähistorische Zeitschrift 50 (1975): 9-140, esp. 109 and 131, pls. 1, 60, and 60.4; A. Zhaneta, “Les Tumuli de Kuç i Zi,” Iliria 6 (1976): 165-233, esp. 207-208, 217-20, 223-24, and 229; nos. V.5/b.1-2, V.14.4-5, V.16.8-9, V.33.1-2, V.46.1-2, V.55.3-4, V.60.1-2, and V.122.1-2; pls. 2-5, 8, 9, and 14; L. I. Marangou, Ancient Greek Art: The N. P. Goulandris Collection, N. P. Goulandris Foundation, Museum of Cycladic Art (Athens, 1985) 155, no. 248; D. von Bothmer, Glories of the Past: Ancient Art from the Shelby White and Leon Levy Collection, exh. cat., Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1990) 98-99, no. 80.a, fig. 1; and I. Kilian-Dirlmeier, Kleinfunde aus dem Athena Itonia-Heiligtum bei Philia (Thessalien) (Mainz, 2002) nos. 880-81, pl. 57.


David G. Mitten

Subjects and Contexts

Ancient Bronzes

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 am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu