Bronze stand with openwork decoration

From tomb 97 at Enkomi, Cyprus; made in Cyprus around 1200 BC

'Women at the window'

The 'women at the window' theme was popular in Phoenician ivory-work of the ninth and eighth centuries BC, which evidently show the cult of 'Astarte at the window'. This stand may well be an early representation of the theme, since the Phoenician ivories resemble it closely in detail. However, 'women at the window' appear on a Mycenaean Greek fresco and on a Mycenaean vase found on Cyprus, and paired women appear on other Mycenaean artefacts. It seems, then, that the 'women at the window' theme was current in Mycenaean art of the fifteenth and fourteenth centuries BC, though presumably with a significance different from that which it had later in the east. Perhaps, though, the Mycenaean representations influenced the Phoenician ivories, with Cyprus acting as the melting-pot where the two cultures met.

The stand consists of about 150 separate pieces, each of which had to be soldered once or twice to adjoining pieces. It is the most complicated in manufacture of all known Cypriot vessel stands: others make better use of casting techniques.

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More information

Bibliography

V. Tatton-Brown, Ancient Cyprus, 2nd ed. (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)

H.W. Catling, Cypriot bronzework in the Myce (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1964)

Dimensions

Height: 17.200 cm
Diameter: 13.200 cm (ring)

Museum number

GR 1897.4-1.1296 (Bronze 63)

GAA3313

Miss E.T. Turner Bequest excavations

Location

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