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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Bronze hoof

Period:
Archaic
Date:
early 7th century B.C.
Culture:
Possibly Cypriot
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
H. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm)
Classification:
Bronzes
Credit Line:
The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76
Accession Number:
74.51.5575
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 174
Painstaking scholarship over twenty years has discovered that these pieces and others now in Berlin originally belonged to one bronze and iron rod tripod. Luigi Palma di Cesnola and his brother Alessandro divided their finds made in Kourion in 1873–74 and sold them to New York and Berlin, respectively. Bronze tripods represent one of the most prestigious and costly creations of the Archaic period. While they originated in the Near East, by the eighth century B.C. they were exported westward to the Greeks and Etruscans as well as copied locally. Thanks to its copper mines, Cyprus was probably an important production center; numerous examples have come to light on the island.
The tripod originally had six bulls' heads at the top and three bovine hooves forming the feet. The missing heads and feet are in Berlin.
Myres, John L. 1914. Handbook of the Cesnola Collection of Antiquities from Cyprus. no. 4757, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1915. Greek, Etruscan and Roman Bronzes. no. 1189, pp. 350-51, New York: Gilliss Press.

Rolley, Claude and Olivier Masson. 1971. "Un bronze de Delphe à inscription chypriote syllabique." Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique, 95(1): p. 299 n. 12.

Matthäus, Hartmut. 1985. Metallgefässe und Gefässuntersätze der Bronzezeit, der geometrischen und archaischen Periode auf Cypern: mit einem Anhang der bronzezeitlichen Schwertfunde auf Cypern, Prähistorische Bronzefunde, Abteilung II Bd. 8. cat. 719c, pp. 337, 376, München: Beck.

Karageorghis, Vassos, Joan Mertens, and Marice E. Rose. 2000. Ancient Art from Cyprus: The Cesnola Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. no. 279, p. 173, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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