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Mortar - Mortar


  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)

  • Date:

    19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This vase shaped bronze mortar has two handles in the form of porpoise heads. On the body there are motifs of centaurs carrying women. The nature of the iconography and metal analysis suggest that it was made in the 19th century.

Physical description

A modified vase-shaped bronze mortar with projecting rim with recessed lip and two handles in the form of porpoise heads. On the body, two astragals with overlapping decoration on each side consisting of a grotesque mask flanked by different motifs of centaurs carrying women. On the bowl, six tapered ribs evenly spaced. A concave foot with narrow projecting base.

Place of Origin

Italy (made)


19th century (made)



Materials and Techniques


Object history note

Bought from Michelangelo Guggenheim, Venice, in 1889 (with 335 to 354- 1889) for £300.

Descriptive line

Mortar, bronze, centaurs carrying women

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

List of Objects in the Art Division South Kensington Museum acquired during the Year 1889. Arranged according to the dates of acquisition, with appendix and indices. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1890. pp. 36
Motture, Peta. Bells and Mortars. Catalogue of the Italian Bronzes in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London, 2001. pp. 187-8, cat. no. 63
Launert, Edmund. Der Mörser. geschichte und Erscheinungsbild eines Apothekengarätes. Munich. 1990. pp. 208, cat. no. 234



Subjects depicted

Centaurs; Grotesques


Sculpture Collection

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