About this object

Amber plaque in the form of a feline face. The outline of the piece follows the contours of the feline face with curaves around ears, cheeks and muzzle. Solid grooves mark mouth, nose, eyes, ears and whiskers, whereas the nose is an hour-glass segment covering the centre of the plaque. The eyes are almond shapes with thick lids and oval pupils with trailing lower corners. Just below the level of the ears, a think horizontal channel drilled for suspension, with another hole drilled down from centre-top to meet it. Intact except for small chip on right corner. Surfaces dull, slightly abraded or eroded. The feline face is more symmetrical than most plaques in this style.

Amber imported from the Baltic was a precious commodity in Etruria, and large pieces were only minimally carved to preserve their size. This would probably have been set into some valuable item of jewelry or ornamental furniture as a status symbol.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Artefact
  • Culture
    Etruscan
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy
  • Date made
    7th Century BC - 6th Century BC
  • Materials
    Amber
  • 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
    45 mm x 42 mm x 17 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.

  • 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.

  • 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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