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Home > Auctions > 25th February 2020 > Huge Western Asiatic Sassanian Style Limestone Relief

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LOT 2137

GBP (£) 2,000 - 3,000
EUR (€) 2,340 - 3,500
USD ($) 2,580 - 3,870

Sold for: £813
(Inc. bp*)

Huge Western Asiatic Sassanian Style Limestone Relief

Late 19th-early 20th century AD

A very large limestone relief in two parts with ropework-bordered roundels; central figure of a king on horseback turning in the saddle to shoot with his bow at a leaping lion; the king with crown and flowing mantle, recurved bow drawn to maximum extent, sword in its scabbard at his waist-belt, horse-harness with heart-shaped pendants and decorated saddlecloth; fragment from a larger frieze. 420 kg total, 160 x 144cm (63 x 56 3/4"). Fine condition. [2]

Property of a North London gentleman; previously with Robin Symes Gallery, Mayfair, before 1999; available to view at our Harwich head office only; accompanied by geologic report No. TL005267 by geologic consultant Dr R. L. Bonewitz.
The king is shown here delivering the famed 'Parthian shot', whereby the upper body is twisted to release the arrow over the horse's rump. The use of the bow meant that both the rider's hands were occupied with aiming and releasing the arrow, while the absence of stirrups and body facing the rear required superb horsemanship. This manoeuvre is the origin of the English expression 'a parting shot' for an insult delivered while leaving or retreating.