• latw-48-1
    Bridle attachment (?) in the form of a boar. (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)

Bridle attachment (?) in the form of a boar

Ca. 580-540 BC, Lydian
Manisa, Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, 5349
Museum Inventory No.
Sardis or Museum Inv. No.
Bronze/Copper Alloy
Object Type
Metalwork Type
B-Grid Coordinates
Acropolis Grid: W 1-W 1/S 8-S 8; *ca 91.5-91.5
Bronze, with dull green patina. Solid-cast, with incised lines and indented dots added after casting. The front side shows recumbent boar to right, with jaw resting on lower foreleg, body resting on lower hind leg; tail across haunch, with long terminal hairs (?) divided into two segments. Head and ear are separated from shoulder and foreleg by a deep indentation. Tusks of upper and lower jaw are parallel and contiguous. A semicircular break in the spinal crest extends through the upper part of the crest and only partly through the bronze. Incised lines define hairs of the spinal crest and around ear and jowl, furrows of the brow, eye duct, upper tail, and leg joints. Indented dots occur on the testicle. The back side is hollow and has in the center two projecting vertical loops. “The inner diameter of the loops is 1.3 cm, yet the holes only project 0.6 cm beyond the plane formed by the edges of the bronze. On the top of each loop is a small projecting tab” (Hansen 1962, 28). Maximum length 0.095 m, maximum height 0.045 m.
Recovered from the summit of the Acropolis of Sardis, near terrace walls of ashlar stone masonry (Cahill, “City of Sardis”), in mixed fill. Closely similar recumbent boars occur on bronze and ivory Riemenkreuzungen, cited in Hansen 1962, Waldbaum 1983a, 42 no. 88. Naturalistic features and the absence of abstract ones (like those on the bone example from Ephesus; Hogarth et al 1908, 164, 176-177 no. 26, pl. XXVI) indicate that No. 48 is not an example of the “nomadic animal style,” although it may have been inspired by that style; it is called pseudonomadisch in Ivantchik 2001. The break in the spinal crest appears in at least one of the bronze parallels, also in representations of boars in some Ionian art, including Clazomenaean sarcophagi, and on the (otherwise highly naturalistic) life-size bronze statue of a boar of the fifth century BC (?) from near Edirne, now in Istanbul; but not in Corinthian, Attic, many East Greek and some Lydian wild goat-style representations, or in present-day boars; for the subject of spinal-crest breaks, see de la Coste Messelière 1936, 126-127; Devambez 1937, 17; Hansen 1962, 34 and references in n. 41. For nomadic images of crouching boars in gold from sword and gorytus scabbards, see Rolle 1991, 304-305 nos. 88, 91. Whether the tabs on top of the loops “served some purpose or are simply residues from the casting process is not clear” (Hansen 1962, 28).
See Also
Greenewalt, “Horsemanship”.
Hansen 1962; Waldbaum 1983a, 41-42, no. 88, pl. 7; Waldbaum 1983b; Ivantchik 2001, 82, 84, 87, fig. 37, no. 2; Dedeoğlu 2003, 27, fig.