Bronze stand with openwork decoration


British Museum

British Museum

The 'women at the window' theme was popular in Phoenician ivory-work of the ninth and eighth centuries BC, which evidently show the cult of 'Astarte at the window'. This stand may well be an early representation of the theme, since the Phoenician ivories resemble it closely in detail. However, 'women at the window' appear on a Mycenaean Greek fresco and on a Mycenaean vase found on Cyprus, and paired women appear on other Mycenaean artefacts. It seems, then, that the 'women at the window' theme was current in Mycenaean art of the fifteenth and fourteenth centuries BC, though presumably with a significance different from that which it had later in the east. Perhaps, though, the Mycenaean representations influenced the Phoenician ivories, with Cyprus acting as the melting-pot where the two cultures met. The stand consists of about 150 separate pieces, each of which had to be soldered once or twice to adjoining pieces. It is the most complicated in manufacture of all known Cypriot vessel stands: others make better use of casting techniques.

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  • Title: Bronze stand with openwork decoration
  • Date Created: -1200/-1050
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 15.80cm (max); Width: 14.00cm (max)
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: soldered; lost-wax cast; twisted (wire)
  • Subject: architecture
  • Registration number: 1897,0401.1296
  • Production place: Made in Cyprus
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Enkomi
  • Period/culture: Late Cypriot III
  • Material: bronze
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Excavated by Turner Bequest Excavations, Enkomi. Funded by Turner, Emma Tourner