Hand of a boxer

Imperial Period
about A.D.150–220

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), no. 085.


Length: 20 cm (7 7/8 in.); end of thumb to end of wrist: 16.2 cm (6 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This sculptural fragment shows the complex formation of the ancient boxing “glove”. There is a rope or fur-and-leather edge around the wrist and thongs or ropes running criss-cross in the palm and down the back of the hand. The ropes form a “harness” around the top of the knuckles of the clenched fist. Over this is tied a three-pronged “knuckle-duster” and into the hand, also over the knuckles and the four fingers, but grasped by the thumb is fitted a semi-circular, metal weapon, like a half-section of pipe, presumably for brutal fighting.
Dark brown to black patina, with areas of green. The casting of the inside is fully visible, including “pins” (for the armature?).


By 1972: with Robert E. Hecht, Jr. (according to the entry in Sculpture in Stone and Bronze: thought to be from Asia Minor and then from a private collection in Switzerland); gift of Robert E. Hecht, Jr. to MFA, September 13, 1972

Credit Line

Gift of Robert E. Hecht, Jr.