Short sword and sheath

Italic or Syrian?
Geometric/Latial II
9th century B.C.


Place of Manufacture: Italy, Lazio

Catalogue Raisonné

Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 592; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 126 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Dagger: 37.9 x 5.5 cm (14 15/16 x 2 3/16 in.) Sheath: 29.3 x 4.2 cm (11 9/16 x 1 5/8 in.)

Accession Number

03.998a-b

Medium or Technique

Bronze

On View

Gallery 212A-B

Collections

Asia, The Ancient World

Classifications

Swords, daggers, knives

This bronze short sword has a rounded shoulder and a curved, T-shaped pommel. The tang is fully flanged with angular protrusions at the center. The rivets and rivet holes in the pommel, handle, and shoulder facilitated the attachment of a missing material once inlaid on the hilt – probably ivory, bone, or amber. The blade is decorated with grooves which are parallel to the edges and turn ninety degrees just below the hilt. There are small incised “theta” symbols in between these grooves at the hilt. The sheath is made from a single sheet of bronze which was folded to form this shape, and it terminates in a cast bronze globe surmounted by two disks. Six pairs of grooves follow the shape of the edge and converge at the bottom. Hatched zigzag designs fill the interstices, and a hatched meander pattern is incised at the center.

Medium green patina.

Provenance

By 1903: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: "From a Scottish collection, possibly the Carfrae."); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, March 1903

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1900