Bronze handle of a patera (shallow basin) in the form of a youth

Period: Archaic

Date: ca. late 6th century B.C.

Culture: Greek

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: 6 3/4 x 2 5/8 x 5/8 in. (17.1 x 6.7 x 1.6 cm)

Classification: Bronzes

Credit Line: Gift of Stark and Michael Ward, in honor of Carlos A. Picón, 2005

Accession Number: 2005.457


During the late sixth and fifth centuries B.C., paterae with figural handles were produced in Greece as well as Southern Italy. The cicada-like insect under the youth's feet recalls the myth of Eos, the goddess of dawn, and her Trojan lover, Tithonos, whom the god Zeus made immortal at Eos's behest. Because she forgot to request eternal youth for Tithonos, he grew old and shriveled away until nothing remained but a wizened, chirping cicada.