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Home > Auctions > 24th November 2020 > Large Western Asiatic Post-Sassanian Stag

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LOT 0249

GBP (£) 18,000 - 24,000
EUR (€) 19,820 - 26,430
USD ($) 23,350 - 31,130

Opening Bid
£18,000 (EUR 19,824; USD 23,348) (+bp*)

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Bid History: 0

Large Western Asiatic Post-Sassanian Stag

8th-9th century AD

A substantial hollow-formed bronze standing stag figure, head erect, antlers poised horizontally each with four tines and a bifid crown, low-relief fur texture to the chest, lentoid eyes; longitudinal slit to the junction of neck and back; hinged door to the flank with fastening lug, possibly for use as a money box. 2.5 kg, 24cm (9 1/2"). Fine condition, antlers reattached.

Property of a London gentleman; formerly with Naxos Art Gallery, London, UK; accompanied by a metallurgic analytical report, written by Metallurgist Dr. Brian Gilmour of the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford, report number 146266/HM1363; and a detailed report by Near Eastern Art expert Prof J.W. Allan and a copy of the purchase invoice from Naxos Art Gallery dated 12 October 1986 (£35,000); this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10156-166533.
See Trever, K.B. & Lukonin, V.G., Sasanidskoe Serebro, Moscow, 1987.
The slot in the animal's neck indicates that it was intended to serve as a money-box, being of a size suitable to accept early Islamic dirham coins of 28-30mm in diameter and up to 1.8mm in thickness. The lateral hinged door allows the coins to be retrieved without damaging the container, in contrast with contemporary ceramic containers which had to be broken open for this purpose.