About this object

A torch-holder, originally set on a long pole to carry burning rags (or other items).

Although this type of object used to be called a 'harpago' ('meat hook') because it was thought it was used in sacrifices, it is now believed they were used to light the tomb or to show the way in dark city streets. In addition, representational evidence suggests that wedding processions were led by torchbearers.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Household Objects
  • Culture
    Etruscan
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy
  • Date made
    5th Century BC - 4th Century BC
  • Materials
    Bronze
  • 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
    243 mm
  • Related people
    Joseph Mayer (Associated Person, previous owner)

Explore related

Publications

  • Catalogue of Etruscan Objects in World Museum, Liverpool

    MacIntosh Turfa, Jean and Muskett, Georgina

    Author: MacIntosh Turfa, Jean and 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.

  • 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:

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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