© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
1932.56.22
Title
Leech Fibula
Classification
Jewelry
Work Type
fibula, pin
Date
late 8th century BCE
Places
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, North Central Italy
Period
Orientalizing period
Culture
Italic
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/303980
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Leaded bronze
Technique
Cast, lost-wax process
Dimensions
4.3 x 9.3 cm (1 11/16 x 3 11/16 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: XRF data from Tracer
Alloy: Leaded Bronze
Alloying Elements: copper, tin, lead
Other Elements: zinc, iron, nickel, silver, antimony, arsenic

K. Eremin, January 2014

Chemical Composition: EMP analysis from sample, Bronze:
Cu, 87.15; Sn, 11.25; Pb, 0.45; Zn, 0.10; Fe, 0.02; Ni, 0.05; Ag, 0.09; Sb, 0.23; As, 0.23

J. Wolfe, June 1998

Technical Observations: The patina features variegated greens interspersed with red and black corrosion. The pin is broken off at the spring and lost. The bow was cast and sealed closed. A black patch on the inside surface may be a plug. The core material and core pins seem to be preserved in the interior and are visible in the x-radiographs. The surface decoration appears to have been done on the wax model prior to casting, with some finishing after casting.


Carol Snow (submitted 2002)

Provenance
Dr. Harris Kennedy, Milton, MA (by 1932), gift; to the William Hayes Fogg Art Museum, 1932.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Dr. Harris Kennedy, Class of 1894
Accession Year
1932
Object Number
1932.56.22
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions

Published Catalogue Text: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
The hollow bow of this leech fibula is decorated with alternating bands of herringbone pattern and undecorated bands (1). The plain bands are lower on the surface than the herringbone bands, which are at the same level as the terminals of the bow, indicating that the plain bands were cut down, probably in the wax model. The catchplate is a simple shape that has been hammered and folded. The spring has two coils; the pin is lost.

NOTES:

1. Compare H. Donder, Die Fibeln, Katalog der Sammlung antiker Kleinkunst des Archäologischen Instituts der Universität Heidelberg 3.2 (Mainz, 1994) 43-49, nos. 22-23, pl. 4; A. Naso, I bronzi etruschi e italici del Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Kataloge vor- und frühgeschichtlicher Altertümer 33 (Mainz, 2003) 240-41, nos. 423-24, figs. 135-36; J. M. Turfa, Catalogue of the Etruscan Gallery of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Philadelphia, 2005) 94, no. 19; and A. M. Bietti Sestieri and E. Macnamara, Prehistoric Metal Artefacts from Italy (3500-720 BC) in the British Museum (London, 2007) 17 and 188 (fibula type 23), no. 565, pl. 125.

Lisa M. Anderson

Exhibition History

32Q: 2540 Renaissance, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 07/18/2018 - 11/15/2018

Subjects and Contexts

Ancient Bronzes

Related Works

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu