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Head of Athena, Coin, 440 ‑ 413 BCE, Silver, 2.38 x 2.14 x 0.60 cm. The University of Melbourne Art Collection. Gift of David and Marion Adams, 2009.
© Reproduction enquiries should be forwarded to The Ian Potter Museum of Art.
Nimrud, Mesopotamia (Modern Iraq), Phoenician ivory of bull with lowered head, 9th-8th century BCE, ivory, 4.4 x 11.2 x 0.95 cm. The University of Melbourne Art Collection. Classics and Archaeology Collection.
© Reproduction enquiries should be forwarded to The Ian Potter Museum of Art
The Classics and Archaeology Collection was established with funding from Jessie and George (GH) Sutton, in memory of the late John Hugh Sutton, with the intention of establishing the John Hugh Sutton Classical Museum. John Hugh Sutton had been a resident of Trinity College when he died in an accident (he is also commemorated with a portrait bust by Web Gilbert in the collection). The funding allowed for the purchase of thirteen Greek pots, nine figurines and one hundred Greek coins. The coin collection was then augmented by the Jessie Webb Collection and further acquisitions, and it now comprises seven hundred and forty-five coins.
In 1969 the collection was placed on display in the Department of Classical Studies and the following twenty years saw considerable growth in the Greek vase collection. There are now nearly two hundred Classical pieces in the collection, including a number of fine Athenian vases. The collection also comprises Egyptian papyri, European medieval and Eastern manuscripts and early books. A number of Egyptian objects, said to come from the Flinders Petrie excavations of 1920, are also included within the collection. In 1990 the collection was augmented by over five hundred objects from the Near Eastern Studies collection, including carved ivories from Nimrud, Egyptian stelai, bronzes from Luristan and Roman glass.
In addition there is an extensive and rare collection of one hundred and ten plaster casts and reproductions, some of which depict Assyrian palace reliefs, and a range of texts and inscriptions, including a copy of the famous Mesha Stele. In 1987 the Department of Classical Studies purchased an important collection of Cypriot pottery from the Australian Institute of Archaeology. It comprises approximately two hundred intact or reconstituted pottery vessels and an extensive range of sherds. The collection is also enhanced by gifts and long-term loans of outstanding pieces, and material collected from the archaeological field work of the School of Fine Arts, Classics and Archaeology.