The J. Paul Getty Museum

Pin with a Horse and a Monkey

Object Details

Title:

Pin with a Horse and a Monkey

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Etruscan

Place:

Etruria (Place Created)

Date:

700–650 B.C.

Medium:

Bronze

Object Number:

91.AC.20

Dimensions:

3.8 × 7.6 × 2 cm (1 1/2 × 3 × 13/16 in.)

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Object Description

A bronze fibula has a long catchplate. The bow is shaped as a four-legged animal, perhaps a young horse, with a monkey riding on its back. The monkey sits with its elbows resting on its knees, which are drawn up, and the hands raised to either side of the face.

Functioning like safety pins, fibulae were used throughout the ancient world for fastening draped garments. Examples with bows in the form of animals were less common, Horses and deer are the most popular subjects for these animal fibulae, and they are frequently ridden by stylized monkeys. The monkey motif (and possibly even the animals themselves) was brought to Italy by Phoenician traders. The figure of a crouching monkey holding its face is widely diffused, and appears on jewelry, amulets, implement handles, and other artifacts. The image occurs frequently in female burial contexts and may be related to childbirth and fertility.

Provenance
Provenance
by 1990 - 1991

Peter Sharrer (New Jersey), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991.

Bibliography
Bibliography

"Acquisitions/1991." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 20 (1992), p. 142, no. 5.

Lyons, Claire, Maish, Jeffrey, and Monica Ganio. "A Rare Etruscan Brooch Rediscovered." The Iris (August 16, 2017), http://blogs.getty.edu/iris/a-rare-etruscan-brooch-rediscovered/ (accessed August 16, 2017), ill.

Lyons, Claire, Maish, Jeffrey, and Monica Ganio. "A Rare Etruscan Brooch Rediscovered." Etruscan News 20 (Winter 2018), p. 6, fig. 3.