• Ancient Jewelry  auction at Christies

    Sale 2233

    Ancient Jewelry

    11 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 336

    A GRECO-PERSIAN CARNELIAN LION GEM

    CIRCA LATE 5TH-4TH CENTURY B.C.

    Price Realised  

    A GRECO-PERSIAN CARNELIAN LION GEM
    CIRCA LATE 5TH-4TH CENTURY B.C.
    The lion reclining on a plinth with his head turned to his right, resting on his forepaws, a radiating hatched mane framing his face, chevron at the top of the head; the underside engraved with a Persian woman standing in profile, wearing a long loose-sleeved garment, her hair arranged in a long braid with a triple-knobbed terminal, holding an ointment jar in one hand, the lid and a dipper in the other, on a short groundline
    11/16 in. (1.7 cm.) long


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    For the subject on the underside compare the "Greek Style" Greco-Persian chalcedony scaraboid from Megalopolis, now in Berlin, pl. 854, in Boardman, Greek Gems and Finger Rings. For lion gems see Boardman, op. cit., p. 205. Lion gems are usually cut from carnelian, with their undersides bearing purely Greek devices, while some are lacking intaglios and were worn as ornamental rings.

    Provenance

    Acquired prior to 1972.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A SWISS PRIVATE COLLECTION