finely sculpted in the round from pale pink marble in the form of couchant boar, the eyes deeply carved; the rounded ears prominent and the snout well formed, a hole pierced through the middle laterally.
Background: With the simple but precise anatomical lines, this example belongs to a well-known class of the seals from Mesopotamia that date to the late 4th millennium B.C. Thought to possess the protective powers of the animal depicted, the most frequently represented figures are bulls and lions; but the birds of prey, monkeys, wild boars, and hares are also found.
For related examples see: E. Moller, Ancient Near Eastern Seals in a Danish Collection, Copenhagen, 1992, pp. 10-18, nos 1-26. E. Gubel (ed.), A l'ombre de Babel: L'art du Proche-Orient Ancien dans les collections belges , Bruxelles, 1995, p. 41, no. 12.
Condition : Intact and in excellent condition overall, an exceptional example of ancient art in miniature.
Dimensions: Height: 2.9 cm (1 1/8 inch) Width: 0.63 cm (1/4 inches)
Provenance: Private Maine collection.