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Home > Auctions > 25th February 2020 > Large Western Asiatic Late Elamite or Marlik Chalice

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LOT 0235

GBP (£) 10,000 - 14,000
EUR (€) 11,680 - 16,350
USD ($) 12,880 - 18,040

£8,100 (EUR 9,459; USD 10,436) (+bp*)

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Large Western Asiatic Late Elamite or Marlik Chalice

Mid 14th-9th century BC

A substantial hammered cup raised from a single sheet of bronze, the oval body flaring inwards with everted rim, short slightly convex pedestal with enlarged base; the surface, executed in repoussè technique with a frieze of four grazing horned walking ibex arranged horizontally in profile, with prominent muscles and their heads separated with a line from the rest of the body, heads lowered showing imposing horns; their tails short, ending with a bifurcation. 1.3 kg, 27cm (10 1/2"). Fine condition.

From a private collection since the 1980s; accompanied by an academic archaeological report by specialist Dr Raffaele D'Amato.
Cf. Christie’s, 9 December 2008, lot 44, with an estimate of $80,000-$120,000; Muscarella O. W., Bronze and Iron Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1988; Muscarella, O. W., Archaeology, Artifacts and Antiquities of the Ancient Near East, Leiden, Boston, 2013; Oudbashi, O., Hessari, M. Iron Age tin bronze metallurgy at Marlik, Northern Iran: an analytical investigation’ in Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences Volume: 9 Issues: 2, 2017; Mahboubian H., Art and Civilization of Ancient Iran, 3000-2000 BC, Salisbury, 2004; the decoration of this vessel shows parallels with a hammered repoussè and chased silver beaker from Fars (see Mahboubian, 2004, p.33), the decoration of a jar from Western Iran (Moorey, Bunker, Porada, Markoe, 1981, pp.84-85), but especially with a North Western Iranian vase published by Muscarella (1988, pp.82ff.) and belonging to the North Iranian Marlik culture.
The ibexes are symmetrically arranged, each creature clearly executed in the same form and style, individually drawn and decorated so that no two are exactly the same. A characteristic of the animal decoration is the division of their bodies into various sections with carefully rendered curved lines. This stylised effect is aesthetically stunning and makes this vessel a very special work of art.