Incorrect Username, Email, or Password
This object does not yet have a description.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Fragmentary Fork
Tools and Equipment
Work Type
1st-4th century CE or later
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Rome (Latium)
Roman Imperial period
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Leaded arsenical bronze
14.2 x 1.9 cm (5 9/16 x 3/4 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: ICP-MS/AAA data from sample, Leaded Arsenical Bronze:
Cu, 79.67; Sn, 4.91; Pb, 7.95; Zn, 0.61; Fe, 0.13; Ni, 0.08; Ag, 0.39; Sb, 0.22; As, 6.05; Bi, less than 0.025; Co, less than 0.01; Au, less than 0.01; Cd, less than 0.001
J. Riederer

Chemical Composition: XRF data from Tracer
Alloy: Arsenical Leaded Bronze
Alloying Elements: copper, tin, lead, arsenic
Other Elements: zinc, iron, silver, antimony
K. Eremin, January 2014

Technical Observations: The patina is heavily corroded with predominantly green corrosion products. The two pieces join, but there are some losses around the join. The thick corrosion obscures the surface detail. The copper-alloy fork was probably made by casting the rough shape and then working it to further shape the fork and finish the surface.

Carol Snow (submitted 2002)


Recorded Ownership History
"From Rome" according to Classical Collection index card; received as a gift of H.W. Bell on Feb. 2, 1911.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Transfer from the Department of the Classics, Harvard University, Gift of H. W. Bell
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 heavily corroded fork has three tines, which are in a straight line with the handle. The end of the handle is decorated with an oblong knob. This fork may not be ancient, although forks do occur in other ancient collections (1).


1. Compare G. Zampieri and B. Lavarone, eds., Bronzi antichi del Museo Archaeologico di Padova, exh. cat., Museo Archeologico Padova (Rome, 2000) 204-205, nos. 408.a-f; and S. Boucher and S. Tassinari, Bronzes antiques du Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine a Lyon 1: Inscriptions, statuaire, vaisselle (Lyon, 1976) 155, no. 205. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, has a copper alloy fork, inv. no. 47.107.1, of similar shape to the Harvard forks, although it has four tines and all of the Harvard forks have only three; see also an example at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, inv. no. 54.1447; and one in the Rhode Island School of Design, Museum of Art, Providence, inv. no. 07.149.

David Smart

Subjects and Contexts

  • Roman Domestic Art
  • Ancient Bronzes

Related Works

Verification Level

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