The J. Paul Getty Museum

Group of Armor for Horses: Prometodpidia (2) and Breastplates (2)

Object Details

Title:

Group of Armor for Horses: Prometodpidia (2) and Breastplates (2)

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Greek (South Italian)

Place:

South Italy (Place Created)

Date:

about 480 B.C.

Medium:

Bronze, amber, ivory

Object Number:

83.AC.7

See more

See less

Object Description

Each pair of these two matched sets of bronze horse armor consists of a prosternidion, or breastplate, and a prometopidion, armor that protected a horse's forehead. Horse armor was widely used in the ancient Mediterranean world. Its use is well documented in the Near East and Cyprus, but less well understood in ancient Greece. The Greek colonies in southern Italy and Sicily produced all the examples of Greek horse armor still known today. Although no horse armor from mainland Greece has survived, writings by the Greek historian Xenophon verify its existence.

These two prometopidia are inlaid with ivory and amber. Such elaborate armor would have been created for ceremonial use, rather than for actual battle.

Provenance
Provenance
- 1983

Antike Kunst Palladion (Basel, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Beyond Beauty: Antiquities as Evidence (December 16, 1997 to January 17, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to January 17, 1999
Bibliography
Bibliography

"Acquisitions/1983." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 12 (1984), p. 239, no. 33.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 41.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 32.

Moustaka, Aliki, et al. "Nike." In Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae VI (1992), pp. 850-904, p. 859, no. 92.

Bottini, Angelo and Setari, Elisabetta. La necropoli italica di Braida di Vaglio in Basilicata: materiali dallo scavo del 1994 (Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Monumenti Antichi, volume 7 (issue 60)). Rome, 2003, p. 111.

Montanaro, Andrea. Ruvo di Puglia e il suo territorio: le necropoli. I corredi funerari tra la documentazione del XIX secolo e gli scavi moderni. Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider, 2007, p. 124.

Mattusch, Carol C. Enduring Bronze: Ancient Art, Modern Views (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2014), pp. 64-65, fig. 40.

Mödlinger, Marianne and Tsirogiannis, Christos. "Recent Cases of Unprovenanced Armour in the Antiquities Market and its Clients." Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt 50 (2020), 323-337, 325-328.