Villanovan Bronze Belt with Water Birds

Culture: Etruscan
Period: 800-750 B.C.
Material: Bronze
Dimensions: 36 cm long
Price: 6 800 Euro
Ref: 4080
Provenance: Swiss private collection Dr. R. H. (1922-2007).
Condition: On the rim some cracks, the belt slightly distorted, otherwise intact.
Description: Opulently decorated elliptical belt sheet belonging to a high ranking woman and possibly also symbolizing her rank. The broadest part, the central passage, is defined by nine sculptural bosses, lined in three rows with three bosses in each row, forming a square area. Around the bosses finely engraved concentric circles, in between finely drawn lozenges decoration. Left and right from the central passage, in the tapered parts of the sheet an area with a rosette in the centre. These side rosettes consist of a boss surrounded by a dotted decoration and star-shaped spikes. Between the rosettes and the central part stylized water birds with long beaks and snake-like bodies are engraved facing outwards. The long bodies of the water animals are interrupted by meander and swing off at the lower part of the belt. Especially interesting are the standing water birds on both ends of the belt, both turning in the same direction, resulting in the bird on the broad end of the belt as the only one facing to the central part. Possibly from Tarquinia. See a similar elliptical belt sheet in Tarquinia, published in: Gabriele Zipf, „Studien zu den Anfängen figürlicher Darstellungen im endbronze- und früheisenzeitlichen Frankreich und Italien“, Munich 2006, page 293f. Mounted.