Height: 1.340 m
GR 1846.6-29.44 (Bronze 592)
Room 71: Etruscan world
Bronze candelabrum with the figure of a warrior
Etruscan, about 475-450 BC
Probably made at Vulci, ancient Etruria (now in Lazio, Italy)
In the ancient world light was usually provided by lamps filled with olive-oil and sometimes supported on elaborate stands. This object, though, is a candelabrum, and when in use would have had a candle attached to each of the four prongs. It is a characteristically Etruscan type of object, and a fine example of the way the bronze smiths elaborately decorated versions of everyday objects.
The stand would have been made in several parts, each cast separately. Particular attention was paid to a decorative figure for the top, and many different types are known. Here a warrior stands in an alert and rather aggressive stance, his head turned, his left foot and his shield arm forward and his sword arm flexed, ready for action. He wears a decorated tunic and a crested helmet of Athenian type.
E. Macnamara, 'The construction of some Etruscan incense-burners' in Italian Iron Age artefacts i-5, Papers of the sixth British Museum classical colloqium (London, The British Museum Press, 1986), pp. 81-98
O. Brendel, Etruscan art, Pelican History of Art (Yale University Press, 1995)
E. Macnamara, The Etruscans-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)