- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
- Lump of Lava Containing a Coin
- Work Type
- 18th-19th century
- Creation Place: Europe, Italy, Sicily
- Physical Descriptions
- Volcanic rock and bronze
- 3.5 x 7.5 x 7.2 cm (1 3/8 x 2 15/16 x 2 13/16 in.)
unspecified: 140.6 g
- Inscriptions and Marks
- inscription: obverse of coin, red paint, hand painted: 2223
- label: bottom of lava, black ink, handwritten: 2223
- Harvard University Department of the Classics, Cambridge, MA, Transferred to the Fogg Art Museum, 1977.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Transfer from the Department of the Classics, Harvard University
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- European and American Art
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- Lump of hardened lava containing a tarnished bronze or copper coin. A man in left profile is faintly visible on the obverse.
Label Text: The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820 , written 2017
Few ancient sites captivated the 18th-century imagination as powerfully as Mount Vesuvius. Following its eruption in 1767, legions of artists, scientists, and tourists ascended Vesuvius’s peak to witness the sublime and destructive power that had obliterated Pompeii and Herculaneum centuries earlier. Occasionally, they also tossed coins into the molten lava and scooped them out as mementos; an example appears in this case.
- Publication History
Ethan Lasser, ed., The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2017), p. 127, Plate 63 (contents of cabinet); p. 128, Plate 64c.
- Exhibition History
The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/19/2017 - 12/31/2017
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