- Museum number
Bronze four-sided stand with figural decoration on each panel; the frame is formed of cast bronze rods, standing on four feet with flat legs; on top is a composite ring consisting of a wavy band between two parallel rods; the four panels are decorated with the figures cast separately in open moulds; all the constituent parts of the stand are hard soldered together; the four figural scenes depict a more or less identical male figure facing a highly stylised tree with voluted leaves; he wears a long, kilt-like garment extending to the ankles but is naked from the waist up; the facial features are fleshy with a prominent nose; his hair (or wig) falls to the nape of the neck; each scene shows a different gesture: approaching the tree with an oxhide ingot over shoulder; holding fish-like objects in lowered hands; carrying a long, scarf-like indeterminate object over his right shoulder, one end of which trails on the ground; seated playing a large, many-stringed lyre supported with a strap around his neck, apparently serenading the tree (possibly a sacred image of fertility).
- Production date
Diameter: 8.50 centimetres (ring)
Height: 12.50 centimetres
Width: 9.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The stand has been discussed by numerous authors in various contexts, from its religious symbolism and relationship to later Phoenician ivories (Barnett 1935, 209 and pl. XXVIII), to its ideological significance in LBA poliitcal formations (Knapp 1986, 30-34 and pl. 6) and its remarkable technical attributes (Papasavvas 2013). The work of Papasavvas is especially important in this respect. He notes how the four-sided stands were a Cypriot adaptation of elements found in other items and materials - especially ivory attachments to furniture. He has also discussed the likely manufacuring techniques, as there is some dispute as to whether the stands were made in pieces and assembled or else cast in a single mould made from composite wax models, an option he favours based on available scientific analysis (2013, 172).
The image of the ingot-bearer was used on the Cypriot 5 mils coin minted by the British authorities in 1956-7 and later on a 250 mils postage stamp issued by the Republic of Cyprus. The renowned ceramic artist Nina Iacovou made copies in terracotta for use as lamp bases.
Barnett, R.D. 1935, 'The Nimrud ivories and the art of the Phoenicians', Iraq 2, 179-2010.
Knapp, A.B. 1986, Copper production and divine protection. Archaeology, ideology and social complexity on Bronze Age Cyprus. SIMA Pocketbook 42 (Göteborg).
Papasavvas, G. 2013, 'Cypriot metalwork of the Late Bronze Age', Pasiphae VII, 169-178.
- On display (G72/dc8)
- Exhibition history
2008-2009 18 Nov-15 Mar, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 'Beyond Babylon: Art, Trade, and Diplomacy in the Second Millennium B.C.'
2009-2010 17 Oct-14 Mar, Landesmuseum Wurttemburg, Germany, The Treasures of Ancient Syria: Discovery of the Kingdom of Qatna.
2021-2022 29 Jun-9 Jan, Turin, Musei Reali, Cyprus: Crossroads of Civilization
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number