Bronze horse bit

Near Eastern, Iranian, Luristan
Iron Age
7th–4th century B.C.


Height x width: 8.7 x 14.3 cm (3 7/16 x 5 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This object is one side panel of a bronze horse bit. It depicts a stylized quadruped, likely either a long-necked donkey or horse. A hole in the center would have housed one side of a rod, while points of attachment of other bridle elements appear at top in the form of three bronze arcs. Subtle details include hair on the mane and a twisted tail. A green to greenish-white patina is exhibited by the metal, and some encrustations adhere to some areas.


By 1944: with Charles L. Morley; 1944: purchased by the MFA for $150.

(Accession Date: March 6, 1944)

Credit Line

Arthur Mason Knapp Fund