About this object

Round boss of beaten bronze, made in two pieces, used as a furniture attachment, probably a cover for the end of a bolster on a funeral couch. Deep, convex moulded rim with two bands of tongues around a central medalion (separate piece), a snarling lion's head with flame-patterned mane, leaf-shaped ears, open mouth, protruding tongue, archaic stylised teeth, dewlaps, wrinkles. A thin, flat flange surrounds the head for attachment to the rim. Badly cracked and corroded, with black exterior surfaces and green corrosion interior. Traces of partial mending and restoration, probably late 19th century. Said to be from Volterra.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Household Objects
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy
  • Date made
    520 BC - 510 BC
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    50 mm x 275 mm
  • Note
    Henszlmann, E., 1853 (see Publication record) records two of these objects, of which one is in Liverpool. The whereabouts of the other are unknown. Gatty, Transactions Historical Society of Lancashire and Cheshire 1881-82, p59 no 182; Brown, `The Etruscan Lion', pl XLI, see https://www.hslc.org.uk/journal/vol-34-1881-1882/attachment/34-4-gatty/
  • Related people
    Gabor Fejérváry ( Previous owner); Joseph Mayer ( Previous owner); Ferenc Pulszky ( Previous owner)

Explore related


  • Catalogue of Etruscan Objects in World Museum, Liverpool

    MacIntosh Turfa, Jean; Muskett, Georgina

    Author: MacIntosh Turfa, Jean; Muskett, Georgina
    Publisher: Archaeopress Publishing Ltd
    Date: 2017
    Description: One of the finest collections of Etruscan artifacts outside of Italy was begun in the 19th century by Joseph Mayer, goldsmith, of Liverpool. His donation of the collection became the core of Liverpool Museum, now World Museum, and has been augmented over the years by additional gifts and other acquisitions, such as those from the Wellcome Collection and Norwich Castle Museum. Much of the original material came from the necropolis of Vulci (Canino) when it was excavated by Lucien Bonaparte, Prince of Canino, while additional objects represent several other cities and sites. Already famous for its gold jewellery and bronze vessels of the 6th to 4th centuries BCE, the Liverpool collection includes a fine selection of Etruscan vases, especially bucchero ware and Archaic painted vases, several scarab seals in semiprecious stones, a small number of carved ivories, and funerary urns, including that of Larui Helesa, in which were found gold earrings identical to those worn by her colourful effigy on its lid. A large group of bronze fibulae (safety-pins) furnish examples of most major types of those important ornaments of the Iron Age and Archaic periods. Engraved bronze mirrors and terracotta votives in the form of heads and body parts (such as uteri) of the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE illustrate myths and offerings that were essential to Etruscan religion. From a Villanovan sword to Hellenistic epitaphs, the Liverpool Etruscan and Italian collection offers a rare glimpse of early civilization in central Italy.

  • Catalogue of the Collection of the Monuments of Art formed by the late Gabriel Fejérváry of Hungary exhibited at the Museum of the Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland

    Henszlmann, Emrich

    Author: Henszlmann, Emrich
    Date: 1853

  • Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities in the Mayer Museum, Liverpool

    Gatty, C T

    Author: Gatty, C T
    Date: 1883
    Description: Article within the Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire.


Previous owners

  • Joseph Mayer

    Owned from: 1855
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1867
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Ferenc Pulszky

    Owned from: 1851-11
    How acquired: Inherited
    Owned until: 1855
    Disposal method: Auctioned
  • Gabor Fejérváry

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1851-11
    Disposal method: Bequest
Object view = Humanities
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