An Egyptian Predynastic Mace Head, ca. 4th millennium BCE


$800 USD $1,200 USD

hand carved from flint, the disc shaped form with carefully bored central hole for insertion of a wooden shaft.

Maces were extensively used in Egypt and neighbouring Canaan from the middle of the fourth millennium BCE to the middle of the third. In Mesopotamia, where Sumerian soldiers wore body armour and helmets, their use was limited.  Improvements to the mace were few. The Egyptians tried to give them a disk shaped form in order to increase their impact or even endow them with some cutting capabilities, but with improving defensive equipment the mace disappeared as a fighting weapon, and gave way to the battle axe. According to the archaeological records disk and pear-shaped mace heads were frequently used, in contrast to all the other forms which were unusual.

Condition:  Intact and in excellent condition overall, with museum quality custom mount.

Dimensions: Height: 3 3/4 (9.5 cm) , length: 3 1/2 inches (8.9 cm)

Provenance:  Collection of Robert de Rustafjaell F.R.G.S. (Member of the Royal Numismatical Society, the Zoological Society, the Royal Society of Arts, the Hellenic Society of the British School of Rome, and Bey of the Imperial Ottoman Empire), purchased at one of the Rustafjaell sales held in 1906, 1913 and 1915 by Gustave Maurice Heckscher who then donated to the museum founded by his father; de-accessioned by Heckscher Museum of Art, Long Island, New York, in 2012. Robert de Rustafjaell (1876-1943), aka Robert Fawcus-Smith, was a British collector and author who worked in Egypt as a geologist and mining engineer. After World War I, de Rustafjaell moved to the United States, where he lived under the name Col. Prince Roman Orbeliani.