Lot 13: Etruscan Bronze Simpulum (Ladle) w/ Antelope Handle

Artemis Gallery

July 20, 2017
Louisville, CO, US

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Description: Europe, Italy, Etruria, ca. 6th century CE. A cast bronze ceremonial ladle with a round bowl and a long handle that curves downward near its end to form an antelope headed terminal. The ladle - in Latin, a simpulum or simpuvium - was used to make libations and to taste wines and liquors that were poured on the heads of sacrificial victims. It was also more generally just a utensil, shown in banqueting scenes on Greek and Italian vases aiding in the distribution of wine into cups. The hooked end of the handle is shown in a scene from an Etruscan tomb being held by a slave and used to hang the utensil from the side of a large wine vessel. The style of this example - with the round bowl and the curved handle terminating in an animal head - was common in Greece and in the Etruscan world. The antelope probably symbolized virility and masculinity. Comes with custom stand. Size: 2.3" L x 2.45" W x 9.25" H (5.8 cm x 6.2 cm x 23.5 cm); height on stand: 10.2" (25.9 cm)

Provenance: private Swiss collection

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Condition Report: Nice patina on surface, especially in bowl. Tiny scratches in some areas where someone may have tried to remove the patina.
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