Nozzle of a lamp
about 525 B.C.
Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 024; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 107 (additional published references).
Length (max.): 13 cm (5 1/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Marble, Greek, of very fine grain (possibly Pentelic)
Out on Loan
On display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, since September 1, 1999
The outside has been carved in low relief. On one nozzle is a pair of confronted lions, rampant and roaring. On the second appears a pair of birds, perhaps hawks, each perched on a lotus flower and palmette, and on the third is a pair of ram’s heads. These reliefs are bounded by a barely discernible plain fillet (not represented on the ram’s head nozzle), and an upright molding with bead-and-reel pattern has been carved to the left and right of each nozzle. Egg-and-dart patterns fill the upper spaces between the nozzles, and the compartments below are enriched with pairs of sphinxes, sirens, and griffins, looking at each other, shaking hands or touching paws. The holes in the tops of the nozzles and the circular depression of the bowl are enframed by plain fillets in low relief.
The Boston fragment comprises the nozzle with ram’s heads, and the upper part of the side with head, wing, back, and tail of the left-hand griffin and most of the head of his mate.
This section of a nozzle with a portion of one adjoining side belongs to an East Greek lamp in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The fragment, as preserved, is in excellent condition. There are dark brown stains, and the entire piece has a warm yellow patina. The two pieces have now been rejoined, and the Boston fragment is currently on a thirty-year loan to the Metropolitan Museum.
By 1901: with E. P. Warren (according to Warren's records: From Furtwaengler, who said it was found beween Athens & Eleusis (?)); purchased by MFA from E. P. Warren, December 1901
Henry Lillie Pierce Fund