About this object

Villanovan girdle, probably had leather backing, but now preserves only the bronze front panel. Still bent from being fastened around waist of a body. Girdle is widest at front, tapering to ends; one end tapers to a thin point curved into a single hook, the other widens into a rectangle, the upper and lower edges of which are rolled to the back (probably crimped over the leather backing). The rectangular end has two round holes arranged vertically, thus not corresponding to the hooked end, which presumably fastened to a lost leather or other segment. The edges of the girdle, except for the ends, are everted to the front surface which is covered in decoration: three vertical, central rows of three small bosses, and a single boss at each end. Incised decoration appears to have been executed before the bosses were beaten up from the back: concentric circles around each boss, outlines around the edges of the belt, and assorted borders (wolf's teeth, irregular step meander, herringbone) forming panels which contain swastikas of assorted sizes, and crosses with points attached by parallel lines, forming a diamond figure.

Bronze girdles such as this are common in women's burials of the Villanovan II period; the bronze panel covered the front of the costume and leather or cloth was used to finish the belt in the back. At Veii, excavators found that lozenge-shaped belts were not usually fastened on the body for burial, but were laid over or beside it, or placed inside the urn for burial.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Personal Ornament
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy
  • Date made
    8th Century BC
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Puchased from Sotheby & Co Auction House
  • Collector
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
    1966 before
  • Measurements
    288 mm
  • Note
    Purchased at Sotheby's (London) 14 November 1966, lot 185
  • Related people
    Sotheby's ( 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 Irish Bronze Age, Egyptian, Western Asiatic, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities

    Sotheby and Co

    Author: Sotheby and Co
    Publisher: Sotheby and Co
    Date: 1966
    Description: Auction catalogue for 14 November 1966.


  • Sotheby's Auction House Sale 14 November 1966

    Start date: 1966-11-14
    End date: 1966-11-14
    Description: Sale of antiquities on Monday 14 November at 2.30 pm at Sotheby & Co., 34 & 35 New Bond Street, London W1. Nine lots were purchased by Mr K. J. Hwett of K. J.


Previous owners

  • Sotheby's

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1966-11-14
    Disposal method: Sold
Object view = Humanities
Have 7 place tagsPage load time: 93 ms