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Home > Auctions > 25th May 2021 > Bactrian Ceremonial Pendant

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LOT 0225

GBP (£) 7,000 - 9,000
EUR (€) 8,070 - 10,370
USD ($) 9,740 - 12,530

Opening Bid
£6,300 (EUR 7,261; USD 8,769) (+bp*)

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Bid History: 0

Bactrian Ceremonial Pendant

3rd-2nd millennium BC

A bifacial lead discoid ceremonial pendant or weight with a bull's head at the centre; sub-rectangular handle above; series of eight pairs of lines decorating the width of the disc; the bull's head with wide raised eyes, long ears below tall horns and detail to the muzzle; on the reverse are eight pairs of lateral lines; mounted on a custom-made stand. 13 kg total, 42.5cm including stand (16 3/4"). Fine condition.

Property of a London gentleman; formerly with the Mahboubian Gallery, London, UK; acquired in the 1950s; accompanied by an old collector's cataloguing sheet and photograph; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10164-166840.

Cf. Pottier, M. H., Matérial Funéraire de la Bactriane Méridoniale de l'Âge de Bronze, Paris, 1984, pp.99, 175, 217, for other examples of lead-handled weights with openwork designs.

Among the most iconic Intercultural Style objects are the so-called "lock weights". These were probably not weights but badges of high office, carried to indicate authority. Fragments of similar objects have been found throughout Mesopotamia, the islands of the Persian Gulf, on the Iranian steppe, as well as the Indus Valley. The bull was a popular and sacred animal in both Mesopotamia and the Indus civilisation. In Mesopotamia it was often associated with storm gods, such as Baal. In the Indus region it appears on seals and is often associated with a horned deity that has been identified as a proto-Shiva type figure.