Etruscan Bronze Belt Hooks
The finest Etruscan bronzes I have owned in 50 years of collecting, this extraordinarily pair of belt hooks are in the form of Lasa, the winged "angel" attendant of Turan, the Etruscan equivalent of Aphrodite, goddess of love, particularly appropriate for this time of year. Dressed in a full-length chiton, the goddess presses her right hand to her heart and raised her left in the age-old sign of testament. Ram's heads are at her feet and another above her head, its tongue protruding to form the belt's hook. The delicate details of the casting are enhanced by finely tooled details. Remains of three iron bolts on each hook indicate how the bronzes were attached to their belt, probably of thin bronze or leather. From Northern Italy, circa 450 B.C., the hooks measure about 4-3/4 inches high and 1-1/4 inches wide. Please note: In their MASTER BRONZES (Fogg Art Museum, 1968) Mitten and Doeringer display a Celtic girdle (ill.202) with similar hook ends, describing them as "equine,(with) ears folded back, small eyes on the sides, long slender muzzles" and note two other examples. There is little doubt, however that the heads here (and, I think, the ones in the work cited) are ram's heads.
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