About this object

Terracotta ash urn with a reclining female worked in the round on the lid. The front of the rectangular-shaped chest is decorated with a relief showing the combat between Eteocles and Polynices (the sons of Oedipus) with a vanth (an Etruscan winged female demon) to either side. The scene is framed with fluted pilasters with stylized Corinthian capitals. In the late 19th century it was noted that the piece was painted red and greenish blue, although it is clear that it has subsequently been restored with brighter colours. An inscription names the woman as 'Larui Helesa'.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Religion
  • Culture
    Etruscan
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy
  • Date made
    2nd Century BC
  • Materials
    Pottery
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
    640 mm x 470 mm x 200 mm
  • Related people
    Joseph Mayer (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.

  • Etruscan Life and Afterlife

    Author:
    Publisher: Wayne State University Press
    Date: 1986
    Description:

  • Exhibition of Greek Art

    Author:
    Publisher: Libraries, Museums and Arts Committee of the Corporation of Liverpool
    Date: 1934
    Description: Catalogue of an exhibition of Greek art held at the Walker Art Gallery, Liveropool, February 12th - March 10th 1934

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

    Gatty, C T

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

  • Nuova Raccolta di Iscrizioni Etrusche

    Buffa, Mario

    Author: Buffa, Mario
    Publisher: Rinascimento del Libro
    Date: 1935
    Description:

  • The Etruscan Collection

    Lloyd-Morgan, G; Girardon, S P

    Author: Lloyd-Morgan, G; Girardon, S P
    Publisher: The Society of Antiquaries of London
    Date: 1988
    Description:

  • The Etruscan Collection in the Free Public Museums of Liverpool

    Johnstone, M A

    Author: Johnstone, M A
    Publisher: University Press
    Date: 1932
    Description:

  • The Etruscan Collection in the Public Museum of Liverpool

    Johnstone, M A

    Author: Johnstone, M A
    Publisher:
    Date: 1932-11
    Description:

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Joseph Mayer

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1867
    Disposal method: Donation
Object view = Humanities
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