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Home > Auctions > 24th November 2020 > Western Asiatic Elamite Silver Gem-Set Eagle Mount

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LOT 0271

GBP (£) 8,000 - 10,000
EUR (€) 8,810 - 11,010
USD ($) 10,380 - 12,970

Sold for: £8,890
(Inc. bp*)

Western Asiatic Elamite Silver Gem-Set Eagle Mount

2nd millennium BC

A silver mount of an eagle with hollow-formed head and body, applied foot with claws remaining, recessed panels to the wings and tail set with haematite, jasper and other tesserae. 16.7 grams, 86mm (3 1/4"). Fine condition.

Property of a London collector; from her family's private collection; formerly with a London gallery; acquired in the 1990s; accompanied by an academic report by Dr. Raffaele D’Amato, and an independent specialist report and valuation by graduate gemmologist and jewellery expert Anna Rogers, GIA GG, BA, Gem-A, ref. no.164084/7/10/2020; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10159-164084.
The present bird follows the format of a similar creature with spread wings on the crest of a bronze helmet from southwest Iran, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, accession number 63.74; see also Rickards, T., Black J., and Green, A., Gods, demons, and symbols of ancient Mesopotamia, an illustrated dictionary, London, 1992; Caubet A., and Bernus-Taylor M.,The Louvre, Near Eastern Antiquities, London, 1991; Mahboubian, H., Elam, Art and civilization of ancient Iran, 3000-2000 BC, Salisbury, 2004.
The Elamite objects manufactured in silver, bronze or copper, made during the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC, are among the best of their kind. The bird on the Metropolitan Museum of Art helmet is shown with its head raised, the back and wings with repoussé sheet metal feather detailing. A number of different birds occur in Mesopotamian art as symbols of deities. One type of a long-necked species, it first appeared during the Uruk Period, as a type of standard, with the bird shown on top of a small rod, mounted on the back of a snake-dragon. The symbol of a bird on a high perch, probably represents a bird-standard, which was common on the Kassite kudurrus, and can be identified from the inscriptions as a symbol of the obscure dual gods Suqamuna (and) Sumalia (Kassite gods), whose images were brought from Babylonia to Susa in the booty war of King Shutruk Nahhunte.