Varga Edith szerk.: A Szépművészeti Múzeum közleményei 79. (Budapest, 1993)

NIELSEN, MARJATTA: An Etruscan country woman from Terriccio

AN ETRUSCAN COUNTRY WOMAN Í ROM TERRICCIO A couple of years ago dr. J. Gy. Szilágyi asked my opinion on an Etruscan cinerary urn of alabaster, which had been kept in the magazine of the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, 1 because its modest quality had caused severe doubts about its authenticity. The poor artistic standard is, however, almost a rule for late Etruscan cinerary urns, especially in the third century BC, as was evident e. g. in the exhibitions Artigianato artistico in Volterra in 1985 2 and Die Welt der Etrusker in Berlin in 1988. In the latter was shown material from the big tomb of the Calisna Sepu family in Monteriggioni in the territory of Volterra in Northern Etruria, with many wholly undecorated urns with shapeless human figures on the lids. 3 Far from being high­lights of art history, these urns illuminate more modest sides of the Etruscan civiliza­tion ; but if plotted on distribution maps they do at least contribute to the demo­graphic and economic history of Toscana. The urn in question came to the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest only after the Second World War, transferred together with other non-Hungarian objects from the Hungarian National Museum. It had been given to the museum in 1879 by one Jakab Hahn, who had acquired it in Toscana, with 'Terricelo' as the alleged finding spot. Nothing more of the acquisition is known. Jakab Hahn (Mór 1834— Székesfehérvár 1893) was a wholesale dealer in grain, founder of many banking institutions and president of the Chamber of Commerce in Székesfehérvár, but nothing is known of his connections with Toscana. 1 Another problem is to locate Terricelo ( ?) on the map (the last letters are not clearly legible in the old inventory). As we were unable to find any locality of that name, dr. Szilágyi suggested to me that it could be identified with the estate 'Terriccio', which sounds highly probable. Less close to the spelling would be that of 'Terric­ciola' in the Valdera, already known as a finding spot for cinerary urns of Volterran type. 5 Terriccio in Val di Fine (Fig. 3) is located in the commune of Castellina Marittima, 25 km from Volterra and at the same distance from the international 1 My warm thanks to dr. J. Gy. Szilágyi for asking me to publish the urn, for all his help­fulness in providing me with pictures, information on the provenance and answers to my many inquiries. 1 am also greatly indebted to Dr. Árpád Nagy and Boldizsár Csornay for their assistance during my visit in Budapest in 1992. My friend dr. Henrik Rosenmeier has kindly checked the manuscript. 2 Exhibition catalogue, ed. Maggiani A., Milano 1985, esp. the urns from Casole d'Eisa, pp. 66-67 (G. De Marinis-F. Del Vecchio). 3 H. Heres in the exhibition catalogue Die Welt der Etrusker, Berlin 1988, pp. 331-335 ; for the tomb, see further Martelli, M., in Urne volterrane 1. I complessi tombali, eds. Cristofani, M. et al., Firenze 1975, pp. 161-189 ; Nielsen, M., The Relationships between Volterra and Its Terri­tory Illustrated by Urns from the Hellenistic Period, in Die Welt der Etrusker, Kolloquium Berlin 1988, Berlin 1990, p. 211 no. 23. 1 I am indebted for this information to dr. J. Gy. Szilágyi and dr. Jenő Fitz. 5 Bonamici, M., Urne volterrane dalla Valdera, in Stiuli di antichitu in onore di Guglielmo Maetzke, Roma 1984, pp. 125-129.