Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
1956.70
Title
Dagger with Silvered Rivets
Classification
Weapons and Ammunition
Work Type
dagger
Date
2nd Millennium BCE
Places
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Crete
Period
Minoan period
Culture
Minoan
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/312179
Location
Level 3, Room 3620, University Study Gallery
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Bronze, silver rivets
Technique
Cast, lost-wax process
Dimensions
4.3 x 1.4 (rivet thickness) x 25.8 cm (1 11/16 x 9/16 x 10 3/16 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: XRF data from Tracer
Alloy: Bronze
Alloying Elements: copper, tin
Other Elements: lead, iron, silver, arsenic, gold
Comments: The studs are silver.
K. Eremin, January 2014

Technical Observations: The patina is dark green with black. The dagger is a solid cast. There is silver plating on the three rivets; the sheets of silver were possibly hammered onto the copper alloy rivets and are held in place mechanically. Striations on the blade are the result of finishing after casting.


Tracy Richardson (submitted 1999)

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of The Leon and Harriet Pomerance Foundation, Inc.
Accession Year
1956
Object Number
1956.70
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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.
Descriptions

Published Catalogue Text: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
Three rivets pierce the slightly rounded butt of this blade and would have attached it to a handle. The rivets have circular heads on either end of cylindrical rods. The heads on both sides are plated with silver. The blade has a wide, flat midrib on each side. The sides of the blade taper only slightly for much of the length before coming sharply to a point (1). The edges are slightly chipped.

The general shape of the blade can be compared to daggers from the Greek mainland, some of which also have silver caps on the rivets (2).

NOTES:

1. Compare a Middle Minoan III-Late Minoan I dagger at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, inv. no. 26.31.485; and G. M. A. Richter, Handbook of the Greek Collection (Cambridge, MA, 1953) 16 and 169, pl. 9.

2. See Th. J. Papadopoulos, The Late Bronze Age Daggers of the Aegean 1: The Greek Mainland, Prähistorische Bronzefunde 6.11 (Stuttgart, 1998) 5-7, nos. 22-24, pls. 2-3. The shape of the blade, as well as the shape and profile of the midrib, resembles some of the more decorative Bronze Age daggers with elaborate scenes inlaid in gold, silver, and niello on the midribs; see ibid., 8, nos. 31-32, pl. 4.


Lisa M. Anderson

Publication History

Katherine Eremin and Josef Riederer, "Analytical Approaches to Ancient Bronzes", Ancient Bronzes through a Modern Lens: Introductory Essays on the Study of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes, ed. Susanne Ebbinghaus, Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2014), 64-91, p. 82, fig. 3.8.

Susanne Ebbinghaus, ed., Ancient Bronzes through a Modern Lens: Introductory Essays on the Study of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes, Harvard Art Museum/Yale University Press (Cambridge, MA, 2014), pp. 59, 82, fig. 3.8

Exhibition History

Man in the Bronze Age, Chapel Arts Center, Manchester, 01/01/1970 - 01/30/1970; Brandeis University, Waltham, 02/09/1970 - 02/27/1970

32Q: 3620 University Study Gallery, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/04/2021 - 01/02/2022

Subjects and Contexts

Ancient Bronzes

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 am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu