Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Shears

Period:
Roman Period
Date:
A.D. 2nd century perhaps
Geography:
From Turkey, Anatolia; Possibly from Trabzon
Medium:
Bronze or copper alloy, silver, black copper (?)
Dimensions:
Height: 9 5/16 in. (23.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1939
Accession Number:
39.2.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 137
This piece is remarkable for its rich inlays. Both sides of each blade are decorated with three registers of figures. Whoever created the design clearly had a sense of humor; when the shears are closed, the top register brings a dog face-to-face with a cat on one side and a lion on the other.

The combination of vague iconography, attenuated drawing, and dour expressions marks the shears as in an "Egyptianizing" rather than an actual Egyptian style. Perhaps they served a ritual function at an Isis sanctuary at ancient Trebizond on the Black Sea, the site where they are said to have been found.
Purchsaed from Dr. Jacob Hirsch, 1939.

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