Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta spindle whorl

Period:
Middle Cypriot I-II
Date:
ca. 1900–1725 B.C.
Culture:
Cypriot
Medium:
Terracotta; hand-made
Dimensions:
H. 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm)
Classification:
Vases
Credit Line:
The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76
Accession Number:
74.51.914
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 173
Engraved decoration, filled with lime; around the body is a large zigzag made up of oblique lines with dots along one side and rows of short parallel strokes along the other; in the open spaces are small groups of parallel horizontal strokes; on the base is a ring of zigzag lines around a ring containing parallel strokes.

Spindle whorls aided in the making of cloth for garments and bedding. They were placed in tombs, perhaps so that the deceased could continue to spin wool in the afterlife.
From Cyprus

Myres, John L. 1914. Handbook of the Cesnola Collection of Antiquities from Cyprus. no. 142, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Karageorghis, Vassos, Gloria Merker, and Joan R. Mertens. 2004. The Cesnola Collection: Terracottas. cat. 48, CD-ROM. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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