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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Work Type
2nd-3rd century CE or modern
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Gaul
Roman Imperial period
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Leaded bronze
Cast, lost-wax process
6.4 x 10.8 cm (2 1/2 x 4 1/4 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: ICP-MS/AAA data from sample, Leaded Bronze:
Cu, 85.07; Sn, 10.69; Pb, 4.02; Zn, 0.022; Fe, 0.07; Ni, 0.01; Ag, 0.04; Sb, 0.08; 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 is brown, and there are several small spots of a thick black, possibly organic, coating overall. The remnants of this black material seem to lie over a red cupritic layer, which is a bright magenta in a few areas. The few areas of light green corrosion seem to lie under this red layer. These layers are somewhat unusual, since the cuprite layer is more commonly found under the green malachite one. The breaks on the boar’s ears are covered with a black and brown material that conceals the surface. The proper back left hoof, which was polished and drilled for sampling, has a bright metallic sheen and shows no signs of corrosion, nor does the polished underside of the front hooves, which also seem to have been prepared for drilling. Some horizontal chisel marks are visible on the back of the upper legs. The hole in the back of the proper right leg is more likely a casting flaw or porosity than evidence of a hollow cast, although this is not certain. There is also porosity on the back of the front hooves and on the underside of the belly. This area seems to have been repaired with a metal patch between the genitals and the threaded mounting pin that attached to the proper right rear hoof. One ear is missing half its original size; the other is cracked and bent back.

The boar was cast by the lost-wax process. The weight of the figure and examination of the material inside a hole in the back leg indicate that the boar is solid, but there also appears to be a patch on the torso, which might suggest a cast-in repair. X-radiography could help to resolve whether it is a solid or hollow cast. The semicircular indentations along the crest of the back could have been made by cutting out the shapes or by pushing in the material, although there is no evidence of excess wax being displaced by pressure.

The surface is rough. In some cases, it appears to be as cast with no further alterations; in others, there is a semblance of dendritic structure, which would suggest etching of some kind, perhaps from cleaning after excavation.

Francesca G. Bewer (submitted 2011)


Recorded Ownership History
Mr. and Mrs. Julius Carlebach, gift; to the Fogg Art Museum, 1955.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Julius Carlebach
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 boar is shown in motion, either running or rampant. The boar has a long snout, open mouth, and prominent tusks. Details of the face, including the eyes, ears, and the lines along the snout are modeled; overlapping tusks emerge from the mouth, and the nose is prominent. The nostrils and pupils are circular depressions. The forelegs are attached to each other and extended, as are the hind legs. The body is slim with a stylized crest consisting of a row of seven scalloped triangles running along the back. The boar’s tail is curled and ends in a small tuft of hair. The genitals are plastically rendered. This boar is not clearly an antiquity. Although representations of rampant boars from the ancient world are known, the style of this piece is inconsistent with others.

Lisa M. Anderson

Subjects and Contexts

  • Ancient Bronzes

Verification Level

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