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Identification and Creation
Object Number
Zoomorphic Attachment
Riding Equipment
Work Type
3rd century CE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World
Roman Imperial period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Mixed copper alloy
Cast, lost-wax process
6.2 x 2.3 x 10.5 cm (2 7/16 x 7/8 x 4 1/8 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: ICP-MS/AAA data from sample, Mixed Copper Alloy:
Cu, 76.98; Sn, 2.89; Pb, 11.84; Zn, 7.59; Fe, 0.29; Ni, 0.05; Ag, 0.06; Sb, 0.11; As, 0.21; Bi, less than 0.025; Co, less than 0.005; Au, less than 0.01; Cd, less than 0.001
J. Riederer

Technical Observations: The patina is a superficial black with bright metal visible below. The surface is deeply pitted and irregular due to corrosion. The corrosion products appear to have been completely stripped away using an electrolytic process. The current black surface is modern.

The attachment is a solid cast. Except for faint lines on the hooves, almost no decorative detail has survived. No evidence of cold working has survived.

Henry Lie (submitted 2001)

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Transfer from the 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
This attachment, which is very worn, bears at one end the protome of an animal, perhaps a lion or a horse (1). The forelegs are joined together, and the body becomes a long, featureless, curving extension that is triangular in section and ends in a round knob.


1. Compare A. Kaufmann-Heinimann, Die römischen Bronzen der Schweiz 1: Augst und das Gebiet der Colonia Augusta Raurica (Mainz, 1977) no. 273, pls. 272-73. On this example, the joined hooves hold a ring in place. This could possibly perform the same function as two similar objects, with a loop above a lion head instead of formed by joined forelimbs; see M. Schleiermacher, “Wagenbronzen und Pferdegeschirr im Römisch-Germanischen Museum Köln,” Kölner Jahrbüch 29 (1996): 205-95, esp. 269-70, nos. 95-96, fig. 80.

Lisa M. Anderson

Subjects and Contexts

Ancient Bronzes

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