- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
- Element of a Horse Harness
- Other Titles
- Former Title: Finial
- Riding Equipment
- Work Type
- horse trapping
- late 8th-7th century BCE
- Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe
- Iron Age
- Persistent Link
- Physical Descriptions
- Cast, lost-wax process
- h. 15.5 x w. 7.9 x d. 5.6 cm (6 1/8 x 3 1/8 x 2 3/16 in.)
- Technical Details
Chemical Composition: ICP-MS/AAA data from sample, Bronze:
Cu, 88.34; Sn, 9.48; Pb, 0.84; Zn, 0.012; Fe, 0.03; Ni, 0.06; Ag, 0.09; Sb, 0.43; As, 0.72; Bi, less than 0.025; Co, less than 0.005; Au, less than 0.01; Cd, less than 0.001
Technical Observations: The patina is green with some blue, red, and black, as well as brown burial accretions. The surfaces are well preserved. The connections between the components are loose, but they do not separate.
The object is made of three components, all of which are solid cast. Their slightly imprecise shapes point to direct modeling of the wax models. The bottom surface of the smallest component is a fracture; part of this fracture surface predates burial, and part is more recent and shows very deep corrosion, up to 4 mm. Pairs of herringbone punch marks on the outside edges of the five discs on all three components are crisp shapes that were punched into the object after casting. Given its significant thickness, the pierced shapes of the largest disc would probably have been cut in the wax model; there are no saw marks in the interior surfaces of these piercings. The top and bottom surfaces of the discs show well-preserved abrasive finishing marks.
Henry Lie (submitted 2012)
- Stuart Cary Welch, Cambridge, MA, gift; to the Fogg Art Museum, 1980.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Stuart Cary Welch
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- Asian and Mediterranean Art
- 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.
Published Catalogue Text: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
This object is assembled from three components that are securely fastened to each other yet allow each element to rotate independently of the others. Four stylized birds decorate the outside of the top ring, which also has two bent bars on its interior. The middle section is pierced by an openwork pattern around the flattened disc. The third piece, which is the shortest, mimics the stem of the large ring. All three sections have similar surfaces and decorative elements, such as a raised rope pattern, indicating that they belonged together in antiquity. The decorative and stylistic elements point to early Iron Age Italy, specifically the Villanovan culture.
Other objects broadly similar to this piece are said to be elements of horse harnesses (1).
1. Compare similar objects in the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, inv. no. Fr. 2259 c; and the Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia, Rome, inv. no. 310670. See A. Carandini and R. Capelli, Roma: Romolo, Remo e la fondazione della città, exh. cat. Museo Nazionale Romano, Terme di Diocleziano, Rome (Milan, 2000) 192.
Lisa M. Anderson
- Subjects and Contexts
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 firstname.lastname@example.org