Sassanian carnelian seal, of ellipsoidal form, the flat base incised with stylized animal, pierced for suspension.
A large number of Sasanian seals are decorated with so-called monograms. The simplest form consists of a moon crescent which tops a horizontal bar that terminates on either side in a curving hook. The precise meaning of these monograms is still unknown, though they have been associated with peasants house marks and also with objects resembling standards which are used by some nomadic peoples. Their occurrence in seals, however, surely indicates that they served one of the principal functions of the seal-stone, namely to protect the wearer and bring him good fortune.
Condition: Small chip to base and signs of usage around the attachment hole, intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Height: 1.2cm(0.5in), Width: 1.8cm(0.7in)
Provenance: Private German collection acquired in the 1960's, thereafter a private Swiss collection.