Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Caestus

Artist:
Charles Henry Niehaus (American, Cincinnati, Ohio 1855–1935 Grantwood, New Jersey)
Date:
1883–85; cast 1901
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
35 1/4 x 15 x 15 in. (89.5 x 38.1 x 38.1 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1907
Accession Number:
07.50
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
The Munich-trained Niehaus modeled Caestus in Rome, combining the inspiration of ancient sculpture with his penchant for anatomical realism. The work depicts a rigidly posed athlete preparing for a fight by binding leather straps in a crisscross pattern around his forearms. This arrangement of straps, known as a caestus, was the ancient Roman equivalent of the modern day boxing glove. Lead or iron weights were often secured over the knuckles to increase the impact of the blows.
Signature: [top of base, right side]: C.H.NIEHAUS.SC.1901.

Marking: [foundry mark, top of base, left side, stamped]: GORHAM MFG. CO. FOUNDERS
the artist, 1901–1907
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