Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta biconical spindle-whorl with flat top

Early Cypriot I
ca. 2500–2075 B.C.
Terracotta; handmade
H. 1 7/8 in. (4.8 cm)
Vases, Terracottas
Credit Line:
The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
The whorl is chipped at one end. Two horizontal grooves at the carination divide the body into two registers. Engraved decoration, filled with lime; around the upper and lower registers of the body are groups of three oblique lines crossing one another, with three strokes in the intervals.

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. 120, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Karageorghis, Vassos, Gloria Merker, and Joan R. Mertens. 2016. The Cesnola Collection of Cypriot Art: Terracottas. cat. 46, Online publication, [CD-Rom 2004], New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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