Horse-bit

Italic, Etruscan
Geometric Period
about 800–700 B.C.


Catalogue Raisonné

Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 698.

Dimensions

Height x width: 7.5 x 30 cm (2 15/16 x 11 13/16 in.)

Accession Number

63.2762

Medium or Technique

Bronze

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Animal-related

The side bars are formed of two Geometric horses, with little horses on their backs. The filigree is in the form of two more tiny, very stylized horses. The mouthpiece is broken, swinging from interlocking rings. There are further eye-rings at the ends of the mouthpiece. Places for the guide reins are visible in the rectangular, key-like projections at the ends of the rings and bars at the sides. The smaller checkreins were attached to the small eyes at the bottom front of the vertical side bars or cheekpieces, where the force would be broken by the swing or pivot of these bars. Two further small eyes, at the bottom rear, were probably for a thin iron chain which passed under the horse’s lower jaw or mouth. One ear of each horse and the filigree between the legs of the beast against the left cheek are missing. Pea-green patina, with some chipping.

Provenance

By 1963: with Hesperia Art, 2219 St. James Place, Philadelphia 3, Pa.; purchased by Horace L. Mayer from Hesperia Art, November 1963; loaned by Horace L. Mayer to MFA, November 22, 1963; year-end gift of Horace L. Mayer to MFA, December 26, 1963

Credit Line

Gift of Horace L. Mayer