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The Bronze Statuette from Uffington, Berkshire

  • P. J. Riis


In 1936 Professor J. D. Beazley kindly drew my attention to the exquisite late archaic bronze statuette (pl. vii) which was said to have been found at Uffington, Berks. The war, however, made it impossible for me to obtain the owner's permission to reproduce the bronze in my Tyrrhenika.

Having been on loan in the Ashmolean Museum from 1923 to 1936, the statuette was bequeathed to the Museum in 1942, being handed over in July, 1943, after the death of the owner and his widow. The testator, Mr. A. E. Preston, F.S.A., of Abingdon, Berks, bought it years ago at the sale of the effects of a Mrs. Beesley, who also lived at Abingdon. With the bronze there was given in 1943 a full-size water-colour sketch of it, on which was written, in the hand-writing of the artist, ‘Found by a labourer near Uffington, Berks,’ and a statement that it was in the possession of Mr. Beesley of Abingdon. The painter was Jesse King, of Appleford, Berks, an antiquary of some repute of about the middle of the nineteenth century, a very careful man, who in making drawings almost invariably recorded where the relics were found. He could have no object in putting anything on the drawing except what he believed or knew to be a fact.



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1 Mentioned only on p. 90. I am very much indebted to Dr. Paul Jacobsthal for a minute and careful description of the bronze, and to the Keeper of the Dept. of Antiquities in the Ashmolean Museum for good photographs and information about the history of the object.

2 Ashmolean Museum Reports 1923, 12; 1943, 7, pl. 2.

3 So Mr. A. E. Preston, who himself was a critical and careful scholar unsparing of pains in pursuit of information on local history and antiquities, He inherited the drawing from his father, who bought it at the sale of Jesse King's effects. (Correspondence in the Ashmolean Museum.)

4 Antiquaries Journal iii, 1923, 97.

5 Cf. Bieber, Die antiken Skulpturen und Bronzen in Cassel I, vignette, 53, no. 120, pl. 38, and compare also Giglioli, L'arte etrusca pl. 252, 1–3.

6 Cf. Erbacher, Griechisches Schuhwerk 56 ff., 68 f.

7 Cf. the shape of Roman cloaks, Wilson, Clothing of the Ancient Romans 77, 112 ff., pls. 66 and 70.

8 Memorie dei Lincei 1883, 60 ff., pls. 1.1 and 2.1; Tyrrhenika 90, pl. 18, 2. The height is 24·5 cm.; it is now in the Civic Museum, Bologna.

9 Acta Archaeologica 1939, 23 ff., no. 15; Tyrrhenika 78, pl. 14.4, 84, pl. 17.4; both found at Vulci.

10 Studi Etruschi 1936, 51, pl. 15: Jahrbuch des Instituts 1943, 208 f., fig. 1; Tyrrhenika 73.

11 Acta Archaeologica 1939, 24, right column; Tyrrhenika 79.

12 So Neugebauer: ‘Riis hat … eine … Entwicklung angenommen, die sich in zwei Werkstatten nebeneinander abgespielt habe’ (Jahrbuch des Instituts 1943, 210), and ‘… mit Riis den Berliner Dreifuss dem Meister des Leningrader zuzuschreiben’ (ibid., 218)—but what I wrote was: ‘Whether either of the series is to be interpreted as the issue of one master or workshop, or even several workshops, we cannot yet tell’ (Acta Archaeologica 1939, 28), and ‘two contemporary workshops or circles of workshops’ (Tyrrhenika 78).

13 Acta Archaeologica 1939, 23, no. 9; Jahrbuch des Instituts 1943, 222 ff., figs 13–16; Tyrrhenika 79, nos. B 4–5, pl. 15.3, 89, n. 3, pl. 17.1.

14 Tyrrhenika 90. I hope to be able some time to revert to the study of the Vulcian bronze industry.

15 Tyrrhenika 90, pl. 17.2.

16 E.g. 21 Bericht der römisch-germanischen Kommission 1931, 133; British Museum Guide to the Early Iron Age, figs. 88 f.

17 Journ. of the Royal Soc. of Antiquaries of Ireland 1938, 53 f., pl. 2.2; cf. Revue Archéologique xiii, 1939, 152 ff.

18 Morricone, Bronzetti etruschi del Museo Civico di Bologna 9, pl. 1.5, formerly in the Palagi Collection.—Danish National Museum, inv. no. 9831; Tyrrhenika 203 f., n. 5, from S. Maria a Mare, near Porto S. Giorgio, in the neighbourhood of Ancona.

19 Opuscula Archaeologica ii, 2, 1941, 174–182; as for the tripod from La Garenne, see Acta Archaeologica 1939, p. 19, no. 7.

20 Inv. no. 2267; Vente Drouot 1–2 Avril 1885, 4, no. 40, pl. 1.9; Furtwängler, Die antiken Gemmen i, pl. 16.1, ii, 75, iii, 180 f., no. 1.

21 P-W s.v. ‘Turms’, 1394, Tyrrhenika 177 f. Usually, he is beardless, but exceptions occur, e.g. Gerhard, Etruskische Spiegel i, pi. 60, 4, perhaps also Röm. Mitt. 1894, 317, no. 74, if rightly identified as a Turms.

22 Among the earliest: Andrén, Architectural Terracottas from Etrusco-Italic Temples 409 f., i: I, 412, i: 6, pls. 126.442 and 128.449–450; Ducati, Pontische Vasen pl. 1; AJA, 1908, 303, pl. 15.

23 Clemen derives Turms from the same root as Turan (the Etruscan Aphrodite) and Τύραννος (Religion der Etrusker p. 35; cf. P-W s.v. ‘Turan’ 1370 f.), a combination which reminds one of the divine predicates Ba'al and Ba'alat, ἄναξ and ἄνασσα (δέσποινα).

24 Altheim, Griechische Götter im alten Rom 79 f., 89 ff.

25 Op. cit., 93.

26 Cf. Tyrrhenika 148, 201.


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