Container (ampulla) in the form of a bear
Roman or Byzantine
Late Imperial to Late Antique Period
4th or 5th century A.D.
Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 486; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 125 (additional published references).
Height: 12.5 cm (4 15/16 in.); length: 11.5 cm (4 1/2 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
The bear has a swivel-pin lid on the top of the head and a ring for suspension in the middle of his back. There are remains (the channels) of inlaid (silver?) sling-like straps to indicate a harness around the stomach and between the forelegs. Holes in the ears offset the vacuum created in pouring through the hole in the mouth. Green and brown patina, with remains of earthy encrustation, especially on the feet.
Bronze, originally inlaid with another material, perhaps silver.
By date unknown: Burton Y. Berry Collection (loaned to MFA by Burton Y. Berry, Esq., December 13, 1961) (said to come from the East Greek world); year-end gift of Burton Y. Berry to MFA, December 26, 1962
Gift of Burton Y. Berry