Hand of a boxer

Roman
Imperial Period
about A.D.150–220


Catalogue Raisonné

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

Dimensions

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

Accession Number

1972.900

Medium or Technique

Bronze

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

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.
Condition:
Dark brown to black patina, with areas of green. The casting of the inside is fully visible, including “pins” (for the armature?).

Provenance

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.