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Home > Auctions > 21st February 2023 > Large 'King Nebuchadnezzar the Great' Brick from the Wall of Babylon

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LOT 0166

Sold for (Inc. bp): £5,980

604-562 B.C.
13 1/4 x 13 in. (13.6 kg, 33.5 x 33 cm).

A large fired clay brick from the Wall of Babylon bearing six lines of stamped Babylonian cuneiform inscription to one face which reads: 'AG - ku -dur-ri-URU' / 'LUGAL ba-bi-lu' / 'za-ni-nu é-sag-ila' / 'u e-zi-da IBILA' / 'SAG.KAL. sa AG-IBILA-URU' / 'LUGAL ba-bi-lu ana-ku', which translates: 'Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who provides for Esagila and Ezida, the eldest son of Nabopolassar, king of Babylon, am I'; traces of bitumen on the blank side; accompanied by an old label which reads: 'Brick from the Wall of Babylon / Presented by W.Bro. Gentle-Cackett Secretary Bible Lands Mission / The impression records the fact that it was built by King Nebuchadnezzar [II]'. [No Reserve]

Ex Reverend Samuel W. Gentle-Cackett (1871-1943), in the 1930s.
Gentle-Cackett was the secretary of the Bible Lands Missions’ Aid Society, 76 The Strand, London, WC2 (1904-1943), author of Palestine Portrayed, 1936, and Worshipful Brother of the Lodge of Sincerity 174.
This brick formed part of an old collection of Masonic ephemera, and is believed to have originated from the Lodge of Sincerity 174.
Property of a Sussex, UK, teacher.

Accompanied by a copy of the book Palestine Portrayed, 1936, written by S.W. Gentle-Cackett.
Accompanied by copies of the relevant pages from the book They Wrote on Clay, showing similar bricks in situ.

Cf. Chiera, E., They Wrote on Clay, Chicago, 1938, p.95, for a photograph of similar bricks shown in situ.

Genesis 11:3: "And they said to one another, 'Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly', and they had brick for stone and bitumen for mortar."
In the 1920s, Cackett read reports of Christian Armenians being orphaned as a result of attacks from Turks and in response he set up a refuge in Bedfont, where he was able to rehome 1500 children.