Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Limestone snake-charmer

1st half of the 6th century B.C.
Overall: 16 1/4 x 6 x 3 3/4 in. (41.3 x 15.2 x 9.5 cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 174
The male figure holds a snake in each hand, while three additional snakes are placed on his head; their heads are aligned above the fillet around his brow, and the rest of their bodies hand down his back. Snake-charmers are quite well attested on Cyprus; one family even specialized in treating victims of snakebite.
Found “in the ruins of Amathus”

Myres, John L. 1914. Handbook of the Cesnola Collection of Antiquities from Cyprus. no. 1022, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Karageorghis, Vassos, Joan Mertens, and Marice E. Rose. 2000. Ancient Art from Cyprus: The Cesnola Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. no. 195, p. 131, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Karageorghis, Vassos. 2006. Aspects of Everyday Life in Cyprus: Iconographic Representations. no. 147, pp. 164-5, Nicosia: Foundation Anasatasios G. Leventis.

Karageorghis, Vassos. 2007. "Snake Charmers" From Cyprus." "Up to the Gates of Ekron" Essays on the Archaeology and History of the Eastern Mediterranean in Honor of Seymour Gitin. p. 478, Jerusalem: W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research.

Hermary, Antoine and Joan R. Mertens. 2013. The Cesnola Collection of Cypriot Art: Stone Sculpture. no. 275, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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