Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Part of a Snaffle
Riding Equipment
Work Type
horse trapping
late 6th-early 3rd century BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Etruria
Archaic period to Classical
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Leaded bronze
Cast, lost-wax process
3.5 x 4.5 x 4.6 cm (1 3/8 x 1 3/4 x 1 13/16 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: ICP-MS/AAA data from sample, Leaded Bronze:
Cu, 64.08; Sn, 4.59; Pb, 30.9; Zn, 0.002; Fe, 0.03; Ni, 0.04; Ag, 0.06; Sb, 0.1; As, 0.19; Bi, less than 0.025; Co, 0.011; Au, less than 0.01; Cd, less than 0.001

J. Riederer

Technical Observations: The patina is a dull, pitted black over brown; there is a white material, perhaps wax, in the pits. Two prongs are missing. The snaffle is a solid cast.

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
The cylindrical snaffle, hollow on the interior, originally had three rows of three conical spikes on its exterior. Two of the spikes in one row are now missing. The spikes are evenly spaced. This piece would have been one of a pair, each at either end of the bit (1).


1. For an illustration of how the snaffle would have worked as part of a complete bit, see M. Garsson, ed., Une histoire d’alliage: Les bronzes antiques des réserves du Musée d’Archéologie Méditerranéenne, exh. cat. (Marseille, 2004) 32, no. 17; and M. Sannibale, Le armi della collezione Gorga al Museo Nazionale Romano, Studia archaeologica 92 (Rome, 1998) 253-96, nos. 319-498, esp. figs. 8-9. See also F. Jurgeit, Die etruskischen und italischen Bronzen sowie Gegenstände aus Eisen, Blei, und Leder im Badischen Landesmuseum Karlsruhe, Terra Italia 5 (Pisa, 1999) 183-86, nos. 263-77, pls. 91-92, esp. Form I (nos. 263-66); and A. Naso, I bronzi etruschi e italici del Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Kataloge vor- und frühgeschichtlicher Altertümer 33 (Mainz, 2003) 169-73, nos. 230-50, esp. 235, pls. 81-82.

Lisa M. Anderson

Subjects and Contexts

Ancient Bronzes

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