SZ-14 bronze

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Proper name: Il cavaliere di Sanzeno; Reiter von Sanzeno
Classification: bronze
Material: bronze
Size: length: 8.7 cm, width: 9 cm, height: 7 mm
Condition: complete
Date: 4th–3rd centuries BC
Date derived from: typology

Site: Sanzeno (Trento, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy)
Coordinates (approx.): 46° 21' 57.60" N, 11° 4' 30.00" E [from site]
Find date: 1949
Find circumstances: by chance
Current location: Museo Retico Sanzeno (on exhibition)
Inventory Nr.: 9287

Inscription: SZ-14 (φelituriesielukusletile/kạṛataśna)

Sources: Ciurletti 1978: 124–125 (No. 5), fig. 42.1
Dal Rì 1987: 175 (No. 723), fig. 302



Equestrian bronze, on a small pedestal.
The body of the horse overlength, the feet united. Trail rectangular curved, mane radially formed. The body of the horseman formed partly in profile view. The left hand takes the mane, while the right hand is turned backward, keeping a quirt. Facial features only schematically modelled in which the nose apparently pass over the overlength throat omiting the area of the mouth which is missing entirely. Wearing a helmet, formed as a bowl and radially. According to Schumacher the helmet represents a Negau helmet of the italic-alpine type (cp. Schumacher 2004: 135).
On both sides of the pedestial an inscription from right to left.
Dal Rì dates the bronze to the 4th–3rd centuries BC, but indicates it as problematic (cp. Dal Rì 1987: 175).
Vetter compares the equestrian bronze with another object of the same type found in Làgole, the paleovenetian settlement near to Pieve di Cadore, in the province of Belluno, 1951 (cp. Vetter 1954: 72).
Almost the entire group of bronzes from Sanzeno was discovered between 1947 and 1949. The bronzes were found by chance in a sand pit (cp. Pellegrini 1951: 304; Vetter 1954: 66-67). According to Mayr (cp. Mayr 1952: 176) the present bronze was found 1949 and purchased 1951. Cp. also Pellegrini 1951: 315 ("recuperato da privati soltanto nell'estate 1951").
Further references with detailed information about the inscription: Pellegrini 1951: 315 (No. 14), fig. 14.a; Mayr 1952: 176 (No. 14); Vetter 1954: 72 (No. 14).
To compare by autopsy: Dal Rì mentions remains of paint red in colour in the area of the eye of the horseman, remains of paint white in colour in the same area of the horse. Furthermore the condition of the bronze.



Ciurletti 1978 Gianni Ciurletti, "Sanzeno (Val di Non - Trento)", in: Alessandra Aspes (Ed.), L'arte preistorica nell'Italia settentrionale. Dalle Origini alla civiltà paleoveneta (mostra 5 luglio–30 settembre 1978), Verona: Museo Civico di Storia Naturale Verona 1978, 123–125.
Dal Rì 1987 Lorenzo Dal Rì, "Influssi etrusco-italici nella regione retico-alpina", in: Raffaele De Marinis (Ed.), Gli Etruschi a nord del Po, Mantova: Regione Lombardia - Provincia e Comune di Mantova 1987, 160–179.
Mayr 1952 Karl M. Mayr, "Zu den Inschriften der Votive von Sanzeno", Der Schlern 26 (1952), 175–177.