„Toreutics, the art of metalworking, represents a research area which is increasingly attracting the attention of archaeologists. The toreutical products, especially those belonging to the fine arts, captured the interest of the ones fond of ancient culture ever since before the Renaissance. However, with the exception of the decorative, luxury vessels made of gold, silver, or even bronze, the scholarly interest on metal vessels had a slower start, and it got intensified only during the last century. The metal vessels, mainly those made of copper based alloy, did not come to the attention of the archaeologists before the 1900’s. Generally, the archaeological literature refers to the fundamental works of Willers (1901, 1907), of the Scandinavian scholars, such as Ekholm, Norling-Christensen, Klindt-Jensen (3rd–4th decades of the century), of Radnóti (1937, 1938) and especially of Eggers (1951).
I believe that from this enumeration (which I have mentioned here just for the sake of exemplifying) an important name has unfortunately gone unnoticed, namely that of Alexandru Odobescu! His concerns for the publication of the Pietroasa hoard led him to a thorough study in the field of the toreutics of metal vessels.
In the final publication of the hoard (Paris, 1889–1900), a great number of metal vessels from several European collections has been included and discussed, while being illustrated with high quality drawings. Only in the second half of the past century, under the influence of European archaeology, the attention of the Romanian specialists was directed towards the detailed research of the material culture from the classical Antiquity. I refer mainly to the ‘mobile’ material which had a secondary role for a long time, and which was mentioned in the publications of the archaeological excavations only illustratively, in the form of catalogues. (...)
I am convinced that this publication, which fulfils a long-awaited desideratum, will be extremely useful for the specialists, and especially for the Romanian archaeologists, as it offers them a recommended model to follow, as well as an adequate terminology.” - Richard Petrovszky
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