April 09, 2013


There is a beautiful image of a pyxis, a piece of ancient Greek pottery, on the British Museum website.  I believe its name translates as compass box.  [Correction: its name is the same as a constellation whose name translates as compass box but a pyxis is a container with a lid.]  Its design shows a språng loom with a partially-completed piece of språng.  It is museum number 1907,0519.1.  The description notes that it's a "sprang frame, used for making hairnets."

You can get a sense of the loom's size by comparing it to the women shown.  The frame's ratio of width to height, excluding the bit at the top, is 1:1.5, very close to phi, the golden ratio.


  1. In this context, the pyxis is a box used to hold cosmetics or jewelry. The images on classical Greek pottery are often related to their function (eg images of Bacchus on a krater used for mixing wine), so the domestic scene is appropriate here.

    BTW there was an interesting sprang display in an exhibit on Greek statues in Germany. Photos here (and the two previous) https://picasaweb.google.com/spiphany/Museums#5766513507225261362
    I believe this was originally part of a project called "Bunte Götter" (colorful gods) reconstructing the painting originally on the statues, but they also included a sprang reconstruction of the clothing of one of the archer figures.

    1. thanks very much for the correction and the link to your photos, Brenda. I'd heard about Dagmar Drinkler's sprang work and that exhibit so it was good to see your photo of her piece in progress.


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