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Home > Auctions > 4th June 2024 > Luristan 'Mistress of Animals' Bridle Bit

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LOT 0260

GBP (£) 3,000 - 4,000
EUR (€) 3,520 - 4,700
USD ($) 3,820 - 5,100

Opening Bid
£1,500 (EUR 1,761; USD 1,911) (+bp*)

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Bids: 0
9 5/8 in. (1.03 kg, 24.5 cm).

Each cheekpiece comprising the figure of a goddess on a rectangular base, standing in a long fringed robe and tiara with horns emerging from his head, grasping an attacking rampant winged griffin or winged lion in each hand, three loops to the reverse, perforated through the body through which the long mouthpiece passes.

Acquired on the London art market, 1995.
Ex Christie's London, 2nd April 2014, no.32.
From the private collection of a North West London, UK, gentleman.

Accompanied by a previous collection photograph and copies of the relevant Christie's catalogue pages.
Accompanied by an academic report by Dr Raffaele D'Amato.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by a search certificate number no.12049-217395.

Cf. Legrain, L., Luristan Bronzes in the University Museum, Philadelphia, 1934, pl.XVI, for the bit; Godard, F., The Art of Iran, London, 1965, item 16; Moorey, P.R.S., Ancient Bronzes from Luristan, London, 1974, plate V (A), for the bronze harness bit, and VIIB, for a complete similar bronze bit; Moorey, P.R.S., ‘ The Art of Ancient Iran’ in Ancient Bronzes, Ceramics and Seals, Los Angeles, 1981, item 43; Musée Cernuschi, Bronzes du Luristan, Enigmes de l’Iran Ancien, IIIe-Ier Millenaire av.J.C., Paris, 2008, no.87, p.123, for a similar bit with a male Master of Animals.

The image of a deity holding two animals is ancient and found in many cultures and can depict either a male or female divinity. The goddess was known by the Greek as Potnia Theron, or "Lady of the Animals", a term first used by Homer in the Iliad.