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Home > Auctions > 24th May 2022 > Sumerian Ritual Vase with Lions Attacking Bulls

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LOT 0187

Estimate
GBP (£) 10,000 - 14,000
EUR (€) 11,660 - 16,330
USD ($) 12,490 - 17,490

Price
£9,000 (EUR 10,497; USD 11,242) (+bp*)

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SUMERIAN RITUAL VASE WITH LIONS ATTACKING BULLS
JEMDET NASR PERIOD, 3100-2900 B.C.

A carved limestone ritual vessel with broad mouth and base, decorated in relief by emphasised lions attacking bulls from behind, sinking their claws to the rump of the bull; flat foot with notched ground line. 5 in. (1.3 kg, 12.6 cm high). Fair condition, some restoration, the rim reground.

PROVENANCE:
Acquired between 1943 and the early 1960s.
Collection of Professor Hans (1900-1967) and Mrs Marie-Louise Erlenmeyer, Basel.
Sotheby’s, Western Asiatic Cylinder Seals and Antiquities from the Erlenmeyer Collection (Part 1), London, 9 July 1992, lot 273.
Accompanied by an archaeological report by Dr Raffaele D'Amato.
Accompanied by a copy of an Art Loss Register certificate number 12778.12.WK, dated 13 September 2019.
Accompanied by scholarly note TL05419 by Dr Ronald Bonewitz.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate no.11178-187281.

LITERATURE:
Cf. Woolley, L., Medio Oriente (Mesopotamien und Vorderasien), Milano, 1961, p.48 (vase from Warka); Strommenger, E., The art of Mesopotamia, London, 1964, no.26, for examples of the theme of lions attacking bulls; Kramer, S.N., L’Histoire commence á Sumer, Paris, 1975.

FOOTNOTES:
A terracotta vessel from Warka shows oxen executed in relief, attacked and grasped by two lions, with two further figures of lions near the head. The art of that period shows an acute observation of the life of animals, and certainly the image of the lion attacking bulls or rams was taken from the events of everyday life.