NO-11 bronze

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Proper name: Pferdchen von Dercolo
Classification: bronze
Material: bronze
Size: length: 11.8 cm, width: 4.7 cm, height: 5 mm
Condition: complete
Date: end of the 5th century BC–around 400 BC
Date derived from: archaeological context

Site: Dercolo (fraction of: Campodenno, Trento, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy)
Archaeological context: hoard
Coordinates (approx.): 46° 14' 55.32" N, 11° 2' 42.83" E
Find date: March 1883
Find circumstances: by chance
Current location: Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum (on exhibition)
Inventory Nr.: 1.086

Inscription: NO-11 (pirikaniśnu)

Sources: Wieser 1883: 220–221
Walde-Psenner 1976: 211 (No. 74), fig. 74
Zemmer-Plank et al. 1985: 165 (cat. No. 35)



Bronze in the shape of a horse.
The bronze is halfplastic worked at which the back side is not sculptured, the front side with a D-cross-section. Green smooth patina all-over.
The head is highly stylized, with no indication of an eye. In the head area a harness bridle. Also the mane is stylized, worked as one closed material with some indentations. The leading flank is formed in a smaller dimension and gives the idea of a jumping horse. The only less narrow end, which is considerably thinner as the body, is perforated. On the flat back side, in the area of the forehead, the chest, the back as well as the body a total of five tapered insections.
On the frontside, along the longish body of the horse an inscription.
The Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum also keeps a copy of the object (inv. No. 1.086K) which also could be observed in the permanent exhibition.
Further references: Wieser 1883: 220–221, Oberziner 1883: 190 et seq. Pictures in Oberziner 1883: pl. II,9 (drawing) and LIR: 165 (photo and drawing); Oberziner as well as Mancini also mention and give pictures of a similar find from the same hoard.
Autopsied by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum in November 2013.
Missing and/or not complete data:
Discussion about the date ....
Find circumstances: In 1883 a bronze situla filled with different kinds of bronze objects like fibulae and pendants was found on a ridge west of Dercolo. Moreover the situla contained a set of magical sticks (sortes) and bronzes - sometimes also interpreted as appliqués - in the shape of a horse (cp. LIR: ??). According to Mancini the situla was found in march 1882 (see LIR: 164). Roberti compares one of the Sanzeno bronzes with the bronze of Dercolo (cp. Roberti 1950: 180).
Interpretation: The collection of the wealth deposit can be interpreted as a votive hoard.
References: Schindler 1998, Lunz 1974



LIR Alberto Mancini, Le Iscrizioni Retiche [= Quaderni del dipartimento di linguistica, Università degli studi di Firenze Studi 8–9], Padova: Unipress 2009–10. (2 volumes)