A Near Eastern Stone Seal of a Predatory Cat, ca. 3rd - 2nd millennium BCE

MA2020

$400 USD

– SOLD

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of oval form, the highly polished flat surface intriguingly incised with a large stalking cat, with a long curled tail, claws, and crosshatching indicative of spotted or patterned fur. Pierced longitudinally for suspension. 

As in so many ancient cultures, the imagery of wild animals was often used to express authority and power in the Near East. Kings often referred to themselves as lions, metaphorically linking themselves to the fierce characteristics of the great cat. Doubtless, the wearer of this seal wanted to exude the power, strength, and ferocity of a cat on the hunt.

Dimensions: Length: 2.3 cm (0.90 inches)

Condition: Good signs of use, with heavy wear to both ends of the suspension hole, some surface unevenness, overall intact and in good condition.

Provenance:  Alex Malloy collection, acquired in the 1980s-90s.