About this object

Complete belt clasp composed of two openwork rectangles with ridged, flared corners. One half has three thick, flat sided rings joined to each other and joined to a long side of the rectangle by three posts whose outlines enclose the rectangle. The opposite half has three corresponding rounded hooks terminating in identical female heads. The heads are oval, with only eyes, nose and brow ridge delineated, the brow ridge turning into Hathor locks on each side of the head. There are striations over the crown of the head to indicate hair. Each half is solid cast, with a small casting flaw on the back of the hook section, the hooks of which show signs of wear. The clasp is in good condition, now patinated a rich, dark green black.

This is an example of characteristic 7th century Orientalizing Etruscan bronze work, the style of the female heads influenced by North Syrian art. Such clasps seem to have been used by both men and women.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Personal Ornament
  • Culture
    Etruscan
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy
  • Date made
    7th Century BC
  • Materials
    Bronze
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Puchased from Sotheby & Co Auction House
  • Collector
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    67 mm x 92 mm
  • Related people
    Sotheby's ( Previous owner)

Explore related

Publications

  • 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.

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Sotheby's

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1966-06-19
    Disposal method: Sold
Object view = Humanities
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