London, South Kensington
6 November 2002
A GREEK BRONZE BELL CUIRASS
CIRCA LATE 7TH/EARLY 6TH CENTURY B.C.
The waisted breast and backplates with neck-guard and reinforced outward rolled edges at the neck and arms, the breastplate decorated with two long snouted serpentine sea dragons curving around the moulded breasts, with bared serrated teeth, each with chased scaly bodies and traces of scalloped fin along the spine, a stylized moulded rib cage below with dotted decoration terminating in two chased palmettes, a similar palmette at the navel and below the neckline, sixteen silver bosses further ornamenting the palmettes and serpents; the backplate with moulded ribbed shoulder-blades, each terminating in two incised palmettes decorated with four silver bosses with remains of four others, the flaring waist-guard with chased tongued border and dotted frieze, repaired with restoration
18 in. (45.7 cm.) high max. (2)
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Cf. H. Hoffmann and A. E. Raubitschek, Early Cretan Armorers, Mainz, 1972, pp. 7-8, pls. 19-31 for a cuirass with sea dragons in the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg (Inv. no. 1970, 26a).
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