A Luristan Bronze Dog, ca 800 BC


This small amulet, cast from bronze using the lost wax method, seems to represent a hunting dog.   Its tail curves down and around from the long skinny body, the eyes are small raised pellets and the ears are small.  

Throughout the Near East, images of animals took many forms, including painted pottery and clay sculptures, carved stone, and sculpture in precious metal. These images frequently appeared within compositions that evoked divinity, kingship, and the fertility of the natural world. While artists had an extraordinary grasp of animal anatomy, animals were depicted both naturalistically and abstractly.  Portrayals of domesticated animals were also used to communicate ideas about fertility and to enhance ritual activities, and amulets and foundation deposits show that domestic animal imagery could also have had protective functions.

Ref: Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art. “Animals in Ancient Near Eastern Art.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/anan/hd_anan.htm (February 2014)

Dimensions:  Length: 2 inches (5 cm)

Condition: Overall deep black-green surface patina. Intact and in very good condition overall, with museum quality custom mount.

Provenance: Private NYC collection, acquired in the 1990's.

Next Previous

Related Items