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Rare European Bronze Axe Head ex-Sackler / Royal Athena

Central Europe, Proto-Celtic Urnfield Culture, ca. 1000 BCE. An elegant socketed bronze axe head with a tall, lunate blade and cylindrical socket. Central Europeans at this time, inspired by the Mycenean Greeks, wore bronze body armor and helmets and carried bronze shields and weapons. An axe head like this would have been attached to a wooden handle, wrapped tightly with leather or sinews to hold it in place. At this size, it was not made to be used in battle, but instead may have been made solely as a burial good, or possibly as a symbol of authority. Arthur Sackler (1913-1987) is famous for his philanthropy, which focused in many cases on endowing art history and archaeology museums, libraries, and university departments in the US and UK, including donating a collection of over 1000 pieces of Chinese art to the Smithsonian. Size: 3.55" W x 2.7" H (9 cm x 6.9 cm); 4.75" H (12.1 cm) on included custom stand.

Condition: Tiny nick from blade edge. Deep bronze-colored, matte patina, with light scratching and pitting on surface commensurate with age.

Provenance: private Davis collection, Houston, Texas, USA; ex-Arthur Sackler (1913-1987) collection, acquired in 1970

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