Late Archaic or Early Classical Period
5th century B.C.
Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 638; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 127 (additional published references).
Length: 40.5 cm (15 15/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
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.
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
Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution