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A SYRIAN COPPER VESSEL
A SYRIAN COPPER VESSEL

LATE URUK PERIOD, CIRCA 3000 B.C.

Details
A SYRIAN COPPER VESSEL
LATE URUK PERIOD, CIRCA 3000 B.C.
In the form of a plump hedgehog standing on four short legs, its spines articulated, with large ears, the circular eyes inlaid with white stone or shell, the head tapering to a slender snout, the flaring rim of the vessel emerging from its back and a pouring spout projecting from above the head
7 in. (17.7 cm.) long
Provenance
Private Collection, Switzerland, 1920s-30s.
Private Collection, Switzerland, 1959.

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Lot Essay

Depictions of hedgehogs in the ancient Near East are confined primarily to two regions, Syria and south-western Iran. The species depicted here is most likely Hemiechinus auritus, which has a round body, short legs and prominent ears. There are related hedgehog figures in pottery, as well as numerous small stone amulets and weights (see p. 38 in Adams, et al., When Orpheus Sang, An Ancient Bestiary). The present example, rendered approximately lifesized, is unusually well articulated.

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