Tweezers

Greek
Archaic
sixth century BC


Catalogue Raisonné

Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 626; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 127 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Overall: 3.3 × 15.7 × 5.5 cm (1 5/16 × 6 3/16 × 2 3/16 in.)

Accession Number

01.7511a-b

Medium or Technique

Bronze

Not On View

Collections

Europe, The Ancient World

Classifications

Cosmetic and medical

This is a looped epilation tweezer originally arranged with other instruments on ring. The decoration on one side is incised with a sphinx, eagles, and a panther pursuing a goat and the other incised with a griffin and an animal pursuing another. Because it was found in Cumae, Italy and because of the style of its decoration, it can be safely dated to the Archaic period.

The tweezers are flat and flare at the end. There are numerous uses for tweezers and forceps in the ancient world, which ranged from epilation, surgery, to household tasks like cutting a lamp’s wick.

Loop much corroded, and broken across the top; another break at shoulder of tweezer A. Green patina.

Provenance

By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Bought in Naples certainly from Cumae.); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, December, 1901

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution