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A Luristan zoomorphic Whetstone Handle, ca. 8th - 7th Centuries BC

MB1308

Hollow bronze cylinder terminating in a stylized feline face. Loop for suspension or attachment at bottom of the piece.

The earliest zoomorphic protome whetstone handles are dated to the 11th century BC.  Whetstone handles vary widely in form and style, ranging from naturalistic depictions to stylized renderings of many different animals.  Examples with the head on the same plane as the stone such as these are referred to as "Assyrian" type, and date to the 9th and 8th centuries.  

Reference:  Oscar White Muscarella, "Bronze and Iron, Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art," The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1988) pg. 182

Houshang Mahboubian, "Art of Ancient Iran, Copper and Bronze", Philip Wilson Publishers LTD (1997) fig. 307;  Ancient Bronzes Ceramics and Seals ed. Glenn Markoe, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1981) fig. 122

Dimensions: Length: 2 1/2 inches (6.35 cm)

Condition: Signs of usage with minor mineral accumulation. Intact and in excellent condition with museum-quality custom mount.  A truly charming piece.

Provenance: Private Mid-West collection, acquired prior to 1952, thereafter private collection of Peter Borromeo, Virginia, acquired from the art trade in 2011.


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