Pair of Etruscan Bronze Stamnos Handles
A pair of ancient Etruscan bronze handles with terminals in the shape of human hands. Delicate anatomical details, such as nails and veins, are incised on the surface of each hand. The handles were originally attached horizontally on either side of a bronze stamnos (wide-mouthed jar).
4th century BC.
Used to store liquids, stamnoi were wide-mouthed jars with lids and two horizontal handles. In Etruria, the handles of stamnoi often took the form of hands, imitating the actual human hands that would have held the vessel.
Cf. a complete vessel with similar handles in the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, inv. no. 35.791.
Formerly in a New York private collection, 1998-2018; purchased in 1998 from the Hurst Gallery, Cambridge, MA.