Bronze handle with dogs flanking a reclining youth
4th century B.C.
H.: 7 x 9 9/16 in. (17.8 x 24.3 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1928
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 170
This magnificent handle may well represent the sleeping Endymion, the beloved hunter of Artemis, who was granted immortality and eternal youth but also perpetual sleep. The subject is especially appropriate, since such handles are often associated with large bronze vessels that served as cremation urns. Closely parallel to this handle is a pair--one now in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the other in the Antikenmuseum, Berlin--that comes from Città della Pieve, north of Orvieto (ancient Volsinii).
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