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MB1408

A Rare Luristan Bronze Axehead, ca. 1000 - 800 BC

This rare, bronze axe is an excellent example of the crescent blade form found in the great museums such as the Ashmolean (Oxford, UK) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.  Cast as one piece using the lost wax method, this well-balanced weapon features a short, cylindrical shaft hole, open at both ends and ridged at intervals with a crouching lion rendered in the round along the butt.  The junction of the blade and shaft hole is modelled as a stylized lion head with prominent ears, eyes and nose, two paws below.  The crescent blade features an incised triangular frieze running the upper length of the blade on both faces.

This distinctivetype of crescentic axehead withblades of bro nze or iron has often been reported from Luristan, w here they  appear to havebeen used p rimarily  from about 1100  to 800 B.C.   Thei rdecoration associates them directly which the spike-butted axes and adzes in use that at the same time.  The transition from shaft-hole to blade is almost always cast as a lion's head, varying only in the degree of stylization. 

For related examples cf: Moorey, P.R.S. " Catalogue of Ancient Persian Bronzes in the Adams Collection", #9 & 10 and Ghirshman, Roman " The Art of Ancient Iran, from its origins to the time of Alexander the Great" (1964) item #505. 

Condition: Intact and in very fine condition, a well balanced weapon.

Dimensions: Length: 7.5 inches, (19.05 cm).

Provenance:  Private New York City collection, acquired from Royal Athena Gallery, NYC., 1980s.

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