Moneybox for votive offerings

Greek
Hellenistic Period
about 180 B.C.


Catalogue Raisonné

Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 456; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 125 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Overall: 9.4 x 10 x 13 cm (3 11/16 x 3 15/16 x 5 1/8 in.)

Accession Number

61.102

Medium or Technique

Bronze

On View

Gallery 212A-B

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Vessels

The box originally contained 10 bronze coins, 4 of which are Ptolemaic. A snake, coiled in a figure-8, is fixed to the top between the slot and the handle. Between the lugs for the handle is the inscription “Be of Good Health” (UGIAINE) which implies that offerings were made in hopes of good health. The top contains a large slot for inserting contributions–the box likely stood on a table in some temple or shrine to the god or goddess of health. There is a head of Hygeia applied to the front.

The handle at the top center is of the typical Greek “bucket” type, an arched rod set at its bases in two lugs rising from the cast lid. Similar lugs are on the lid and body, at the back, are transverse by their original pins to form the hinges for opening and closing.

Provenance

Date unknown: G. Michaïlidis Collection, Cairo (G. Michaïlidis, Annales du Service des Antiquités de l'Égypte 55, 1958, pp. 191-197); by 1960: with Spink & Son, Ltd., 5, 6 & 7 King Street, St. James's, London, S.W. 1 (said to come from Egypt; found in region of Memphis); January 11, 1961: purchased by MFA from Spink & Son, Ltd. for $ 800.00.

Credit Line

Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Zoë Wilbour