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HOME : Classical Antiquities : Classical Bronzes : Bronze Hellenistic period handle, decorated with female head in relief
Bronze Hellenistic period handle, decorated with female head in relief - PH.0149
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 300 BC to 100 BC
Dimensions: 6.5" (16.5cm) high
Style: Hellenistic Period
Medium: Bronze

Location: Great Britain
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Vessels in ancient Greece were made in great quantities and in diverse materials, which included terracotta, glass, ivory, stone, wood, leather, bronze, silver, and gold. Most vases of precious metals have largely disappeared as they were melted down and reused, but ancient literary sources from literature and inscriptions testify to their existence. Many more bronze vessels must have existed in antiquity because they were considerably less expensive than silver and gold, and more have survived because they were buried in tombs or hidden in hoards beneath the ground. The handles, mouths and feet of bronze vessels were often cast separately from a mold.  Such cast parts were consequently attached to the hammered body of the vase with rivets or solders, or a combination of the two methods. In many cases, the thin, hammered bodies of bronze vases have disappeared entirely or are extremely fragmentary because of the corrosive effects of the soil in which they were buried. The solid handles, mouths and feet have fared better. They often are decorated with geometric patterns, powerful animals, mythical creatures and human figures, especially at the points at which the handles are attached to the body of the vase. The mouth, foot, and ends of the handles usually are decorated with geometric or floral patterns rendered in low relief. Sometimes, and below handles posed vertically against the body of the vase, independently worked appliquées often appear, which were made using a repoussé technique that involves hammering the panel from the front and back to achieve different levels of relief within the composition. - (PH.0149)


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