Etruscan Ladle

By
Jennifer Torres
Jennifer Torres is the Collections Technician of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum. Her primary duties include the rehousing and photography of the museum’s collection. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Florida, where she received her B.A. in Anthropology and Classical Studies in 2013. In 2015, she received her M.A. in Museum Studies with a concentration in Collections Management from the George Washington University.

Objects in a museum collection are assigned a unique number, called an accession number that connects the object to its records including its history. Sometimes an object is disassociated from its accession number and subsequently its history. Such is the case of this metal object shown here, newly rehoused in its custom storage box. We recently discovered that an old conservation repair had failed and the bowl and handle were separated and given two different accession numbers. Thorough research into the collection by our registrar led to the discovery of this mistake. Recently our conservator reattached the handle to its bowl and the object has been reunited with its proper accession number, and therefore its history! What was once catalogued in our database as a metal rod and metal disc, is now properly identified as a bronze Etruscan ladle likely dating from the late 5th century B.C. and was purchased in Naples or Rome around 1907.