Bit Boss with Hercules Fighting the Monster Cacus

South German, possibly Augsburg

Not on view

The central part of this bit boss is adorned with a scene depicting Hercules fighting the monster Cacus, represented as a centaur with a half-lion - half-deer body, a shield and a sword at their feet. This scene is directly inspired by a rectangular plaquette designed by Moderno (Galeazzo Mondella), ca. 1507.

German bronze founders would regularly use Italian medals or plaquettes as models for their works, including bosses, like this one, which decorated the sides of horse bits. They also produced similar decorative elements for powder flasks, staff weapons or even pistols. This scene seems to have been a common design for bit bosses and plaquettes made in Southern Germany in the second half of the 16th century.

Bit Boss with Hercules Fighting the Monster Cacus, Copper alloy, gold, South German, possibly Augsburg

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