• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12239

    Antiquities

    6 July 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 32

    AN IRANIAN BRONZE DAGGER WITH CUNEIFORM INSCRIPTION

    REIGN OF MARDUK-NADIN-AHHE, CIRCA 1099-1082 B.C.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN IRANIAN BRONZE DAGGER WITH CUNEIFORM INSCRIPTION
    REIGN OF MARDUK-NADIN-AHHE, CIRCA 1099-1082 B.C.
    The blade with a cuneiform inscription on each side beneath the hilt, the continuous text reading 'Belonging to Marduk-Nadin-Ahhe, King of Babylon, King of the Universe, King of Sumer and Akkad', the flanged crescent hilt recessed for now-missing inlay
    16 1/8 in. (40.9 cm.) long


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    PUBLISHED:
    D. Arnaud, 'Légendes cunéiformes sur pierre et sur bronze', Aula Orientalis, vol. 20, 2002, p. 28.

    There are only four other bronze daggers with inscriptions to Marduk-nadin-ahhe known: one at the British Museum (acc. no. 123061), one in the Louvre, one formerly in the Holmes collection, and a fourth that was also in the Foroughi collection (J. A. Brinkman, A Political History of Post-Kassite Babylonia, 1158-722 B.C., Rome, 1968, p. 330-1; for the other Foroughi example, see 'Bronzes Inscrits du Luristan de la Collection Foroughi', Iranica Antiqua, vol. II, Leiden, 1962). Despite having cuneiform dedications to the Babylonian king, these daggers have all been found in Iran. E. Herzfeld has suggested that they were from the graves of Assyrian soldiers garrisoned in Luristan (The Persian Empire. Studies in geography and ethnography of the ancient Near East, Wiesbaden, 1968, p. 29-31); the British Museum example was found in Luristan alongside a bowl with a cuneiform inscription stating that it was the property of Shamash-killani, an officer of the king.
    Mohsen Foroughi was a pioneering Persian architect and professor at the University of Tehran, and an important collector of Persian art.


    Provenance

    Mohsen Foroughi (1907-1983) collection, Tehran and Paris.
    Anonymous sale; Etude Francois de Ricqles, Drouot, Paris, 22 April 2001, lot 644.
    Private collection, France.


    Pre-Lot Text

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