Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pin with spherical head

Period:
Hittite Empire
Date:
ca. 14th–13th century B.C.
Geography:
Central Anatolia
Culture:
Hittite
Medium:
Gold
Dimensions:
5.12 in. (13 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Ornaments
Credit Line:
Gift of Norbert Schimmel Trust, 1989
Accession Number:
1989.281.14
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 403
The gold head of this pin is modeled after a poppy capsule. Its rosette top and fluted globe contain loose objects meant to rattle like seeds when shaken. A separately made thin wire collar masks the join where the solid pin was inserted into the sphere. As the actual poppy produces abundant seeds from its seed capsule it may have come to symbolize fertility. It is also probable that the juice found in the outer layers of the unripe capsule of the opium poppy was exploited for pain relief and to induce sleep.
[By 1965, Egon Beckenbauer, Munich]; by 1966, collection of Norbert Schimmel, New York; from 1983, on loan to the Museum by Norbert Schimmel (L.1983.119.6); acquired by the Museum in 1989, gift of Norbert Schimmel Trust.

“Ancient Art. The Norbert Schimmel Collection,” Cleveland Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1974-1977.

“Von Troja bis Amarna: The Norbert Schimmel Collection New York,” Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, 1978-1979.

“Ancient Art: Gifts from the Norbert Schimmel Collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, June 4, 1991–September 15, 1991.

Muscarella, Oscar W., ed. 1974. Ancient Art: The Norbert Schimmel Collection. Mainz: Philipp Von Zabern, no. 127.

"Learning." The New Yorker, March 29, 1976.

Settgast, Jürgen, ed. 1978. Von Troja bis Amarna: The Norbert Schimmel Collection New York. Mainz: Philipp Von Zabern, no. 137.

Muscarella, Oscar W. 1992. "Circlet and pair of pins with spherical heads." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 49 (4), Ancient Art: Gifts from the Norbert Schimmel Collection (Spring 1992), no. 16, p. 55.

Emre, Kutlu and Aykut Çinaroglu. 1993. “A Group of Metal Hittite Vessels from Kinik-Kastamonu.” In Aspects of Art and Iconography: Anatolia and its Neighbors. Studies in Honor of Nimet Özgüç, edited by Machteld J. Mellink, Edith Porada, and Tahsin Özgüç. Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Basimevi, p. 702.

Merrillees, Robert. 1999. "Opium for the Masses: How the Ancients Got High." Archaeology Odyssey 2 (1), pp. 20-29.
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