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Home > Auctions > 2nd June 2020 > Phoenician Ivory War Chariot and Archer with Drawn Bow

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LOT 0050

GBP (£) 15,000 - 20,000
EUR (€) 16,850 - 22,460
USD ($) 18,900 - 25,200

Sold for: £16,250
(Inc. bp*)

Phoenician Ivory War Chariot and Archer with Drawn Bow

6th-4th century BC

A Phoenician or Assyrian carved ivory diorama representing a military archer or huntsman in his chariot; the vehicle a D-shaped platform open to the rear with textured sidewall, two spoked wheels with large domed hubs, tapering shaft with papyrus-stalk detailing carved into the forward end, yoke formed as a transverse bronze pin with bronze chains forming the reins attached to the sidewall by staples; the horses modelled in galloping pose with legs extended, raised bridle and halter detailing, hatched covering to the back, plumed headdress; the chariot provided with two figures: a driver holding reins in his extended hands, wearing a short belted kilt and a small cap; the huntsman modelled larger and taller with small pedestal base, pleated kilt and banded mantle, quilted cap, drawing a bow held in his left hand, right arm bent in the draw, arrow laid against his cheek; beside the huntsman on the outer face of the chariot's sidewall a quiver with arrows set at an angle to allow easy access; mounted on a custom-made stand with cover. 1.4 kg total, 25 x 14cm including stand (10 x 5 1/2"). Fine condition, some repairs. Extremely rare.

Condition report [Click to show]

Property of a London gentleman; previously with central London gallery; published in Apollo magazine in April 1981; imported from the USA in the early 1970s; formerly with Mahboubian Gallery, New York since the late 1960s; accompanied by geological report No. TL3257 by geology consultant Dr R. L. Bonewitz; and a copy of the relevant Apollo magazine pages; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.158480-10019.
See Cowell, J.H., Chariots and Other Wheeled Vehicles, Oxbow Books, 2012, pl.125-129, for similar examples of chariot.
The chariot with horses was used extensively in Egypt by the Hyksos forces from the 16th century BC onward, although they may have been in use before this. Egyptian military forces used the chariot as a mobile platform from which to launch arrows, and the chariot was usually provided with a quantity of these missiles; the archer stood behind the protective wall of the chariot while the driver steered across the battlefield bringing the vehicle into range so that the attack could be launched. The chariot with bowman was also used for hunting purposes.