The tripod stands on feline-paw feet. Atop the central rod of each leg is a palmette, and above this, on the upper ring, a couchant sphinx. Large horse protomes, each including the forelegs as well as the head, decorate the upper rim above each of the inverted U-shaped intermediate rods. Below each horse protome is a lotos blossom. The stand would have supported a bronze vessel.
Rod tripod stands have a long history in the eastern Mediterranean region. The earliest examples occurred on Cyprus in the thirteenth century B.C., and the type continued to be produced there and elsewhere in the succeeding centuries. The Cypriot version has a wide distribution: it has been found on Cyprus, Crete, the Cyclades, mainland Greece, Sardinia, and Italy. This stand is an early example of a later, ornate type of Greek manufacturing. Cast in several pieces and then soldered and jointed together, it is a highly accomplished piece of metalwork. A related stand from Metaponto in the Berlin Staatliche Museums is among the few other known complete examples.
Picón, Carlos A. 1997. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1996-1997." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 55(2): p. 10.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1997. "One Hundred Twenty-seventh Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1996 through June 30, 1997." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 127: p. 17.
Stibbe, Conrad M. 2000. The Sons of Hephaistos: Aspects of the Archaic Greek bronze Industry. pp. 127-42, figs. 85-88, 95, 97-99, Roma: L'Erma di Bretschneider.
Picón, Carlos A. 2001. "Recent Acquisitions by the Greek and Roman Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Apollo, : pp. 11-9, fig. 2.
Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 39, pp. 55, 416, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Betrell, Richard R. and C.D. Dickerson III. 2009. From the Private Collections of Texas: European Art, Ancient to Modern no. 2, pp. 88-89, Fort Worth: Kimbell Art Museum.