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A fine Babylonian Crystal Duck Weight, ca. 2100 - 1800 BCE

MW1801

A measuring weight carved from clear crystal 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.

Background:  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 from a variety of hard stones such as agate, crystal, hematite, granite just to name a few. 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.

Condition: minor wear to the base from ancient usage otherwise intact and in excellent condition overall.

Dimensions: Length: 3.5 cm (1.37 inches)

Provenance: acquired from Ron Nasser Fine Art, NYC in the 1980s.


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