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Identification and Creation
Object Number
Other Titles
Alternate Title: small package of Etruscan fragments (key)
Tools and Equipment
Work Type
1st-4th century CE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World
Roman Imperial period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Leaded bronze
Cast, lost-wax process
5 x 2.2 x 0.7 cm (1 15/16 x 7/8 x 1/4 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: ICP-MS/AAA data from sample, Leaded Bronze:
Cu, 81.38; Sn, 3.82; Pb, 14.27; Zn, 0.092; Fe, 0.01; Ni, 0.04; Ag, 0.26; Sb, 0.13; 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

J. Riederer

Technical Observations: The patina consists of various greens, red, and black with brown deposits. The object is worn but intact. The key was made by lost-wax casting.

Carol Snow (submitted 2002)

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
This slide key has a four-sided shaft that tapers from the hoop to the teeth. The three rounded teeth of the key form a right angle to the handle. The hoop is quite worn on the side where it joins to the handle (1). A key of this type would have been suspended from a chain or rope (2).

1. A similar key was found at Boğazkale, Turkey; see R. Boehmer, Die Kleinfunde von Boğazköy, Boğazköy-Hattusa 7 (Berlin, 1972) 158, no. 1650, pl. 55.

2. For the general type, compare Los bronces romanos en España, exh. cat., Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Palacio de Velazquez (Madrid, 1990) 271, nos. 203-204; and G. Zampieri and B. Lavarone, eds., Bronzi antichi del Museo Archaeologico di Padova, exh. cat. Museo Archeologico Padova (Rome, 2000) 188-89, nos. 357-61.

David Smart

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