The J. Paul Getty Museum

Pendant in the Form of a Bird Atop a Disk

Object Details

Title:

Pendant in the Form of a Bird Atop a Disk

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Greek

Place:

Greece (Place Created)

Date:

750–700 B.C.

Medium:

Bronze

Object Number:

96.AC.70

Dimensions:

6.9 × 1.3 cm (2 11/16 × 1/2 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

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Object Description

With its schematic, S-shaped body, this long-billed water bird perches above a disk. Incised lines embellish the base of the neck and tail of the bird, and the disk is incised with concentric circles. The bird is pierced through its neck, indicating that it was originally suspended. Similar examples are known from various sites in the Peloponnese and Thessaly in Northern Greece.

Water birds were a popular motif in Greek Geometric art. Small bronze statuettes of birds, often perched on top of disks or openwork spheres, were a customary votive dedication in sanctuaries throughout Greece. Some examples, however, have been found in graves, suggesting they served a funereal as well as votive function. As many of these birds are pierced for suspension, they might originally have served as dress ornaments or pendants on necklaces. However, the precise function is unclear.

Provenance
Provenance
- 1989

Fritz Bürki & Son (Zurich, Switzerland), sold to Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, 1989.

1989 - 1996

Barbara Fleischman and Lawrence Fleischman, American, 1925 - 1997 (New York, New York), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
A Passion for Antiquities: Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman (October 13, 1994 to April 23, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 13, 1994 to January 15, 1995
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland), February 14 to April 23, 1995
Bibliography