Bronze cista (toiletries box)

Period: Hellenistic

Date: ca. 325–300 B.C.

Culture: Praenestine

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: H. 11 5/8 in. (29.5 cm); diameter 9 5/8 in. (24.5 cm)

Classification: Bronzes

Credit Line: Purchase by subscription, 1896

Accession Number: 96.18.1a, b


The engraved frieze on the cylindrical container depicts a battle between Greeks and Amazons. The solid-cast feet are shaped like lion's paws but terminate in attachments depicting winged sirens. The engravings of two nude warriors on the lid, one standing and one seated, are modern additions, no doubt inspired by similar compositions frequently seen on mirrors. The cista handle is missing.