Etruscan Bronze Oinochoe with Snake Handle


An elegant Etruscan oinochoe featuring a cylindrical body, sharply pronounced shoulders, a trefoil lip and a single attached, handle extending from the shoulder to the rim. The handle is finely modelled in the form of a snake biting the rim of the vessel. A beautiful example of Etruscan bronze craftsmanship.


Date: Circa 5th-1st Century BC
Provenance: Ex. Gorny & Mosh, auction 248, lot 200, 3Oth June 2017.
Condition: Fine with beautiful green patination to the surface. Professionally restored.


Rituals related to wine were already present in Etruria since the end of the Bronze Age. However, contact with Greek culture marked a profound evolution. Wine became more deeply linked to the religious dimension, used collectively in celebrations to the gods and in funeral ceremonies. Wine became quickly the main character of social rituals, banquets and symposia. Among the Etruscans the cultivation of the vine itself was extremely important; priests were the only ones in charge of the vineyards cultivation technique and of the magical practices to preserve the vineyards from bad weather. Ancient Greek and Roman historians testify the great opulence and luxury of Etruscan banquets, where fine pottery and metal vessels and precious embroidered fabrics were exhibited.

Weight 900 g
Dimensions H 24 cm



Reference: For similar artefact, The Met Museum, item 44.11.4