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Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek


The statue is made of white marble. Tip and right side of the nose, upper part of kithara, tip of left wing and the legs are broken off. Red pigment can be seen with the naked eye on the kithara.

In June 1993 and June 1998 marble samples were taken for isotopic analysis, but the results were inconclusive.

Description of object

The siren, a bird with human head, is furnished with both wings and arms and sits lightly bird-like on its rather solid legs. In the left hand, which passes under a strap, it holds the seven-stringed kithara, and in its right hand a plectrum. The hair of the low forehead is brushed back, while the crown and the elongated back of the head are covered by long hair, in strings of ringlets. Three of these fall on each side of the head down over the shoulders. The foremost disappears behind the large flat rosette fastened in each ear.

Choice of methods

Visual examination

  • Macroscopic

Marble identification method

  • Isotopic analysis. Results: d13C, 3,78 - d18O, -2,03. Possible origins: Thasos/Cvathy; Marmara; Paros; Thasos/Aliki.


F. Poulsen (1951), Catalogue of Ancient Sculpture in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, cat. no. 4a.

F. Johansen (1994), Catalogue. Greece in the Archaic Period. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, cat. no. 7.

  • 2817
  • Statue
  • c. 580 B.C.E.
  • Archaic
  • White marble
  • Bought in 1933 from the bazaar in Istanbul.
  • H. 37 cm.; H. of head 11 cm.

Selected photos

  • Img_6882_red
  • Img_6884_red