A Babylonian Agate Duck Weight, ca. 2100 - 1800 BCE
Object No: ML1801b
A measuring weight carved from finely banded agate in the shape of a stylized duck, its long neck turned across its back, the head resting flat in the center as if sleeping, the eyes and long bill articulated, the base flat.
The Mesopotamians used sets of standard weights in conducting business and set stiff penalties for those who used false weights. The weights themselves were usually made of very hard stone such as agate. A simple barrel shape was the most common form, but weights such as this example in the form of a duck, with its neck and head resting along its back, were also prevalent.
Dimensions: Length: 3.5 cm (1.37 inches)
Condition: minor chips to neck otherwise intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: acquired from Ron Nasser Fine Art, NYC in the 1980s.
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