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Frank V. de Bellis Collection - Etruscan, Greek and Roman Artifacts

The three hundred and fifty-seven (357) artifacts were acquired by the late Mr. Frank V. de Bellis from various museums of archaeology in Italy through the cooperation of Dr. Adreina Becker-Colonna, Professor of Classics and Classical Archaeology at San Francisco State University, and several scholars abroad. Dr. Becker-Colonna was graciously given permission by several institutions to select representative pieces for a teaching collection of archaeological objects for this University.

In 1958, the late Mr. de Bellis made this acquisition possible by donating to the Italian Government (Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione), in accordance with official agreement, a collection of pre-Columbian art objects. This collection is now permanently exhibited in the Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico “Luigi Pigorini” in Rome.

A majority of the de Bellis artifact collection is comprised of terra-cotta ware, bronzes, and a few glass items, which were found in archaeological excavations in Italy, and are representative of the cultures that flourished in these areas. The earliest group of artifacts, comprising vases and flint tools from the vicinity of Paestum, dated to 2400-1900 BC, were produced in the Eneolithic period. The latest artifacts were produced in the 1st century AD at the time of the Roman Empire. The largest portion of the collection is dated within this period and includes artifacts which illustrate mainly Etruscan, Hellenic, and Roman cultures.

All three hundred and fifty-seven pieces are listed and described in a published catalogue: Etruscan, Greek and Roman Artifacts in the Frank V. de Bellis Collection of the CSU and Colleges (1976). A photocopy of the catalogue is available upon request for a fee. A representative selection of the artifacts is on permanent display in the main exhibit area of the de Bellis library.


Catalogue Number 100
Bell-shaped krater with red-figure decoration and white details showing two profile views of female heads with elaborate head-dresses. Height, 18.2 cm. 4th Century BC.


Catalogue Number 101
Amphora with staffa (stirrup), red-figure decoration and white details showing female head in profile with elaborate headdress, a large-winged bird, and palmettes. Height 25.5 cm. 4th Century BC.

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