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vessel-stand / stand

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1946,1017.1

  • Description

    Bronze wheeled stand for a vessel, with figural scenes on the side panels, and an animal frieze on the ring; some parts case in the lost-wax technique, others are mould-cast and hammered; the rectangular side panels are composed of cast rods which support à jouré (openwork) figural scenes with animal friezes below; a bird sits at each corner at the top; the uprights continue below the level of the frames to join the wheel-axles, which are also connected to the frame by roughly triangular supports (missing on one side); small pendants (fruit?) hang from rings attached to the bottom of each side (some are now missing); the wheels have six spokes. The ring at the top sits on a ridged rectangular support; the frieze is framed by moulded borders; part of the ring above Side B is now missing.

    The cast ring shows a frieze of animals. These include pairs of lions attacking a creature, perhaps a man, and a grazing deer. The main decoration, in the à jouré technique, is in two unequally-sized registers. Side A: in the upper register, a sphinx wearing a flat cap; in the lower part, two birds. Side B: a lion, moving to the right, grips a long-necked water-bird by the neck; the lower register of this scene is in poor condition, but perhaps originally showed dolphins. Side C: A two-horse chariot with driver and passenger moves to the right in the next upper register. It has six-spoke wheels (like the stand itself) and the light cab has a quiver hanging on the side; the scene below may show three water-birds. Side D: a seated figure playing a stringed instrument is approached by two figures of whom the first plays a similar stringed instrument. The third figure, apparently a serving boy, carries a jug in his right hand and raises a stemmed cup to face level in his left; the lower register shows a long-necked water-bird attacks a fish or dolphin. Part of the ring and most of one leg are missing.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1250BC-1100BC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 29.21 centimetres (without wheels)
    • Diameter: 7.62 centimetres (wheels)
    • Weight: 3.2 kilograms (approx.)
  • Curator's comments

    The weight of this item can only be measured approximately because part of the original ring and some of the pendants are missing, while one of the main uprights has been restored with a copper alloy. The figure given here nonetheless provides an idea of the original quantity of bronze used to make the stand.

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  • Bibliography

    • Papasavvas 2001 no. 28, pp 242-3 bibliographic details
    • Matthäus 1985 No. 706, p. 316 & pls. 103-104 bibliographic details
    • Catling 1964 p. 194, no. 7 and pl. 28f bibliographic details
    • Macnamara & Meeks 1987 pp 59-60, no. 4 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G72/dc16

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2008-2009 24 Oct-28 Feb, Karlsruhe, Badische Landesmuseum, The Age of Heroes: Greece in the Dark Ages
    2014-2015, 15 Sep-4 Jan, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, From Assyria to Iberia

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1946

  • Acquisition notes

    When first published soon after its acquisition by the British Museum, Prins de Jong suggested that it had entered the Buccleuch family collection during the time of the 5th Duke (1806-84) (Prins de Jong 1951, 4). No information has since come to light to confirm this attribution, though its origins on Cyprus in the mid-19th century is possible. Bibliography: Prins de Jong E.F. 1951, 'A bronze stand in the British Museum', Bulletin van de Vereeniging tot Bevordering der Kennis van de Antieke Beschaving XXIV-XXVI (1949-51), 2-6.

  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number

    1946,1017.1

Bronze wheeled stand with an animal frieze on the ring and figures on the side panels. The panels principally show: a seated lyre-player approached by a musician and a serving boy; a winged sphinx; a lion gripping a water bird by its neck; and a chariot.

Bronze wheeled stand with an animal frieze on the ring and figures on the side panels. The panels principally show: a seated lyre-player approached by a musician and a serving boy; a winged sphinx; a lion gripping a water bird by its neck; and a chariot.

Image description

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Object reference number: GAA3311

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