Key

Greek
Late Archaic or Early Classical Period
5th century B.C.


Catalogue Raisonné

Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 638; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 127 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Length: 40.5 cm (15 15/16 in.)

Accession Number

01.7515

Medium or Technique

Bronze

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Household

This is a temple key –large metal bar bent at right angles–often appear in the hands of priestess in Greek art of the late 6th century B.C.

The shape is “something like a bayonet” (B.H.Hill), and the handle ends in the head of a serpent with beard or protruding tongue. Even green patina.
Inscribed: TAS ARTAMITOS  TAS EN LOUSOIS.

Provenance

By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Bought in Athens from a man living near Sicyon) (according to MFA Register of Metalwork 4: "This key is from the temple of Artemis at Lusoi, in Akadia."); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, December 1901

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution