Griffin Protome

Griffin Protome

625-575 BC

Bronze

Overall: 13.9 cm (5 1/2 in.)

The Charles W. Harkness Endowment Fund 1927.146

Description

This bird-like head and neck, with sharp beak and tongue, belongs to a griffin, a fantastic bird/lion hybrid prominently found in both Greek and Near Eastern artwork. Often, as here, the griffin has large upright ears (probably feline, in keeping with its lion body) as well as a knob-like projection atop its head. The scaly neck terminates in a flange once pierced with holes for connection to the shoulder of a large bronze cauldron—not unlike the later one displayed here beside it—which would have been ornamented with three or more such griffins.

See also
Collection: 
GR - Greek
Department: 
Greek and Roman Art
Type of artwork: 
Metalwork
Medium: 
Bronze

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