• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1915

    Antiquities

    6 December 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 59

    A MESOPOTAMIAN LIMESTONE HEAD

    SYRIAN, EARLY DYNASTIC, CIRCA 2550-2250 B.C.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A MESOPOTAMIAN LIMESTONE HEAD
    SYRIAN, EARLY DYNASTIC, CIRCA 2550-2250 B.C.
    From a composite sculpture, the oval face with thin lips, a protruding, hooked nose, full cheeks and slight double chin, the large lidded eyes inlaid with lapis lazuli for the pupils and lids, white stone for the sclera, with one long, merging brow above, inlaid with lapis lazuli and hatched to indicate hair, a row of drop shaped black stone inlays partially preserved along the forehead, representing curls, a row of inverted triangles in between, wearing a lapis lazuli headband with incised concentric triangles, a portion of vertically ribbed black stone inlay preserved above representing hair, a horizontal perforation on either side of the crown of the head, notches on either side of the face, perhaps to receive inlaid ears; the back roughly finished and scored, with traces of stucco for attachment
    4¼ in. (10.8 cm.) high


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    For a similar human face inlaid in lapis lazuli from a smaller composite sculpture see no. 105 in Aruz, ed., Art of the First Cities. This example also exhibits fine, naturalistic modelling, particularly in the dimples around the nose and mouth and the crease of the double chin.

    Provenance

    with Elie Borowski, 1966.
    French Private Collection.