Bronze. According to Walde-Psenner in the shape of a panther (cp. Walde-Psenner 1976: 213), at which the identification as panther is really uncertain. More probably is the identification with horse or optionally dog.
Dimensions: Length 7.2 cm, height 5.7 cm (cp. Walde-Psenner 1976: 213).
Smooth dark-green patina. Cast in open mould, so only one half cast and the back side is not sculptured. At the widest area of the back side a slight indentation. At the edge area flashes filed away in part. The mouth is broken and perforated. Intentionally shortened feet, curved tail.
On the back and chest area probably remains of an inscription.
The surface of the back side slightly curved what is unexpected related to an open mould cast. Probably an arguable interpretation, due to the last-mentioned fact, is the interpreation of the bronze as tessera hospitalis (oral notice by Schumacher). But the interpretation of the strokes at the neck and back area as characters is also arguable. Probably the strokes are indications of a mane, so the interpretation as tessera hospitalis is then again arguable. Moreover there are not yet known further comparative examples related to these tesserae from the Fritzens-Sanzeno culture. A possibile comparative example related to art working etc. is a bronze stored at the Castello del Buonconsiglio (cp. the present bronze with SZ-13 bronze). In this context however it has to be pointed out that Walde-Psenner considers possible that the bronze could present an Etruscan art work (cp. Walde-Psenner 1976: 214) and besides the appearance of the tessera hospitalis is attested by several examples for the Etruscan culture. From the area of the Ager Saenensis are known six instances for all these a dating to the second half of the 7th century BC is indicated (AS-14, AS-15, AS-16, AS-17, AS-18 and AS-19; cp. ET 2: 608–609, here also further references). Furthermore there is an exemplar from the area of San Omobono in Rome which dates to the second quarter of the 6th century BC (LA 2.3; cp. ET 2: 411, here also further references). Another example which dates to the 6th century BC, comes from Carthage (Af 3.1; cp. ET 2: 812, here also further references).
The state of preservation does not allow any indication like date or specific classification of working (cp. Walde-Psenner 1976: 214). However it can be assumed the general chronological timeframe related to the Fritzens-Sanzeno culture, therefore a date determination from the 5th to the 1st centuries BC.
Find spot Sanzeno, but further find circumstances unknown. The object presents one of the old findings from Sanzeno which were found by the local inhabitants at the end of the 19th century in Sanzeno. The major part of these findings were acquired by the Tyrolean State Museum in the course of the turn of the century, hence the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
At his time Whatmough stated two almost identical objects with characters (cp. PID: 18–19 [No. 201 and No. 202]) at which No. 201 he could autopsied, whereas No. 202 was not traceable. But related to No. 202 he followed the indications by Conway who autopsied the object in 1908. Therefore two different, although similar, objects were indicated. In succession of Whatmough Schumacher and afterwards also Mancini record two objects with inscriptions (cp. Schumacher 2004: 137 [ SZ-20 and SZ-21; LIR: 75–76 [SA-16 and SA-17]). In the recently released study about the Raetic inscriptions by Marchesini also two different objects with inscriptions are indicated. The first object is listed with "MLR 193", an autopsy was effected (cp. MLR: 188 [MLR 193]: "Placchetta zoomorfa (cane?) di bronzo (...)'"). The second piece, therefore SZ-21, is listed with "MLR 239". The latter is indicated as "dispersa" (cp. MLR: 213 [MLR 239]). However the recent study and autopsy by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum have clarified that there is only one object with characters on two positions (cp. SZ-20 as well as SZ-21).
Autopsied by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum in November 2013.
||Gerhard Meiser, Valentina Belfiore, Sindy Kluge (Eds), Etruskische Texte. Editio minor, revised edition [= Studien zur historisch-vergleichenden Sprachwissenschaft Band 4], Hamburg: Baar 2014. (2 volumes)
||Alberto Mancini, Le Iscrizioni Retiche [= Quaderni del dipartimento di linguistica, Università degli studi di Firenze Studi 8–9], Padova: Unipress 2009–10. (2 volumes)