- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
- Coil Bracelet
- Work Type
- 8th century BCE
- Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe
- Geometric period
- Persistent Link
- Physical Descriptions
- Cast, lost-wax process
- h. 4.2 x diam. 6.3 x w. (of coil) 1 cm (1 11/16 x 2 1/2 x 3/8 in.)
- Technical Details
Chemical Composition: XRF data from Artax 1
Alloying Elements: copper, tin
Other Elements: lead, iron, arsenic
K. Eremin, January 2014
Technical Observations: Both 1920.44.220 and 1920.44.267 have a similar method of manufacture. Both were cast by the lost-wax process, probably as a strip with the finials at the end, and then hammered from the inside into a coil in order to avoid damaging the very fine, crisp detail of the outer surface. The inner surface of 1920.44.267, although flat, preserves small dents from hammering. The central ridge, which is triangular in section, and the fine parallel ridges along the outer rims of the coil were probably already present in the wax and enhanced in the metal.
Both bracelets are highly mineralized in some areas, in particular where the rims have come in contact with each other, which has resulted in the loss of some of these areas. Most of the surface is dark green and covered with lumpy green and red cuprite corrosion pustules and coarse, sandy, tan burial accretions. In a few areas, the metal is very well preserved and even gives off metallic glints. 1920.44.220 is incomplete and is missing one end of the coil and finial. That same bracelet also has what looks like an ancient repair; two parts of the broken band overlap by c. 1.3 cm and seem to be riveted together. The outside section has been thinned down, with the central raised area hollowed out to allow the other section to slot into it more exactly. A crack in the heavily mineralized repair area may also have been glued together more recently, but this is not detectable by ultraviolet illumination.
Francesca G. Bewer (submitted 2012)
- 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
1920.44.220 and 1920.44.267 are four-coil bracelets that belong to a group of Geometric bracelets, which are well known from central and southern Greece and date to the eighth century BCE (1). It is unclear how the coiling was achieved. Each bracelet was presumably cast in a single long rod and then bent into coils by annealing. The coils are flat on the interior, with a triangular ridge in the center of the exterior. The terminals consist of a biconical bead, from which extends a short grooved cylindrical element that terminates in a conical projection. The bracelets are heavily corroded, with some sections missing along the edges. 1920.44.220 is missing one terminal. There is a repair, presumably ancient, where a break has been fixed by overlapping two edges.
The date appears to be somewhere in the eighth century BCE, more likely during the second half, c. 750-700 BCE
1. For comparisons, see J. Bouzek, “Die Armringe der Sammlung Bellos aus Theben,” Forschungen und Berichte, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Archäologische Beiträge 16 (1974): 161-67, esp. 161-62, Groups A and B, nos. 1-3 and 4.a, fig. 1.1-2, pl. 11.
David G. Mitten
- Subjects and Contexts
- 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 email@example.com