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Home > Auctions > 30th November 2021 > Etruscan Patera with Suthina Inscription

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LOT 0046

GBP (£) 10,000 - 14,000
EUR (€) 11,760 - 16,460
USD ($) 13,320 - 18,650

£9,000 (EUR 10,584; USD 11,988) (+bp*)

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Etruscan Patera with Suthina Inscription

Late 4th century BC

A large bronze patera with squat, D-section wall, broad rim, collared handle embellished with a palmette plaque below; the internal base with inscriptions 'SUTHINA' for 'for the tomb' in Archaic Greek lettering. 1.3 kg, 35cm (13 3/4"). Fine condition.

From an important London W1, collection; formerly with Christie's London, 6 December 2016, lot 37; previously acquired from Ken-ichi Kanazawa, Tokyo, 1990; accompanied by an archaeological report by Dr. Raffaele D’Amato; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10946-181281.

See the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, accession nos., 03.23.29-37 and, for similar; cf. Torelli, M., Gli Etruschi, Cinisello Balsamo, 2000, pp.399ff., 539; see De Puma, R., ‘A Third-Century B.C.E. Etruscan Tomb Group from Bolsena in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’ in American Journal of Archaeology, Vol.112, No.3, (July 2008), pp.429-440, for vessels and bronzes with similar inscription; see Wallace, R.E., Zikh Rasna, A Manual of the Etruscan Language and Inscriptions, New York, 2008, for the Etruscan dictionary.

Interesting studies of śuthina inscription have been carried out by eminent scholars and Etruscologists such as Fontaine and Pandolfini. The word, according to the prevailing interpretation, consists of the noun śuthi (tomb) and the possessive adjectival suffix na, usually translated ‘for the tomb’ or ‘belonging to the tomb’. The presence of the inscription on this vessel, as on other items intended to be deposited as grave goods, signified that the items were not intended to be used again by the living, but instead for use by the dead in the otherworld. In 1995, Fontaine counted no less than 119 metal objects with śuthina inscriptions, with additional examples identified by De Puma in 2008. The patera was a very common feature in Etruscan tombs. The back was rarely decorated, since it was designed to stand against a wall.