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Identification and Creation
Object Number
Head of Eros
Work Type
head, sculpture
2nd-3rd century CE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World
Roman period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Cast, lost-wax process
4 x 3.5 x 1.4 cm (1 9/16 x 1 3/8 x 9/16 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: ICP-MS/AAA data from sample, Brass:
Cu, 87.52; Sn, 1.85; Pb, 0.98; Zn, 8.97; Fe, 0.21; Ni, 0.02; Ag, 0.09; Sb, 0.15; As, 0.15; Bi, less than 0.025; Co, less than 0.005; Au, 0.073; Cd, less than 0.001
J. Riederer

Technical Observations: The patina is green with a few areas of reddish brown and tan burial deposits. The object is largely intact, although the surface is worn and poorly preserved.

The head is a solid cast, and a squared iron pin remains in the reverse. The poorly preserved surface makes it difficult to know at what point the surface design would have been created, but it is likely that it was done in the wax stage prior to casting.

Carol Snow (submitted 2002)

Louise M. and George E. Bates, Camden, ME (by 1971-1992), gift; to the Harvard University Art Museums, 1992.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Louise M. and George E. Bates
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 flat head of a child, perhaps the god Eros, was probably used as an applique (1). The face is round, with large eyes, a wide, flattened nose, a smiling, open mouth, round cheeks, and a curving chin. The coiffure is high, rendered as straight strands of hair pulled back vertically and horizontally. The back is flat and featureless except for the iron pin that probably served as a means of attachment.


1. Compare A. Kaufmann-Heinimann, Götter und Lararien aus Augusta Raurica: Herstellung, Fundzusammenhänge und sakrale Funktion figürlicher Bronzen in einer römischen Stadt, Forschungen in Augst 26 (Augst, 1998) 81 and 93, nos. S371 and S154 (appliques of female heads).

Lisa M. Anderson

Subjects and Contexts

Ancient Bronzes

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