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Home > Auctions > 5th September 2017 > Western Asiatic Achaemenid Jug for the Great King Darius

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LOT 0409

Sold for (Inc. bp): £16,740

4 1/2" (304 grams, 11.5cm).

A carved stone masterpiece; the jug with ribbed body, rosette base, ibex head spout, everted rim, handle formed as a monstrous head, some abrasion and piercing to the body; accompanied by an original old scholarly note, typed and signed by W.G. Lambert, late Professor of Assyriology, University of Birmingham, 1970-1993, which states: 'Inscribed Ancient Iranian Stone Jug. Height: 11.6cm Max.diam. 8cm. This is made of dark stone, with flat base, sides that first flare out a little then rise, slowly flaring in to the top. On one side there is a handle joining the lip in a lion's head, and on the opposite side there is a spout in the form of an ibex head. The base is decorated with a rosette of eight petals, and the sides are decorated with twelve ridges from base to handle. Below the lip there is the end of an inscription in Elamite cuneiform: [Da-r]i-ia-ma-u-ish sunki ir-shá-ak 'Darius, Great King. This probably refers to Darius I who ruled 522-486 B.C., but there was Darius II who ruled 424-405 B.C. and Darius III who ruled 336-331 B.C. This is an outstanding work of Achaemenid art and the greater part is very well preserved, but the top of the jug on the side with the spout has been damaged and is restored [since removed]. As a jug it is rare.'

From an important London collection formed before 1980.