13 June 2000
THIRTEEN NEAR EASTERN CYLINDER SEALS
circa 3rd-2nd millennium b.c.
Chiefly of dark steatite, including a Syrian seal engraved with a seated figure holding a drinking pipe which curves forward into a vessel before him, a standing figure behind, a scorpion above a table; a Syrian seal with a cross-hatched pattern; a Jemdet Nasr seal with a row of leaping quadrupeds; a Syrian seal with two registers of overlapping stylized animals; a Syrian Early Dynastic III haematite seal with a row of rearing animals, and a standing figure; a Jemdet Nasr seal with a bull and a standing figure with its arms raised; a Syrian seal with a cross-hatched pattern; an Early Dynastic I seal with a standing figure within a nimbus, framed within an inscription, two other figures within the border; a Syro-Hittite copper seal (worn) with standing figures before a sacred tree; a Syrian steatite seal with a lion attacking a stag, a snake biting the lion's foot; an Early Dynastic III seal with a row of rearing quadrupeds, one inverted; a Syrian seal (worn) with animals depicted horizontally; a Syrian steatite seal with a worshipper before a seated figure; and a red stone seal, possibly modern, with two soldiers leading a leashed stag before a seated figure
2½ in. (6.4 cm) high for the largest (14)
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Decorative and dangerous, the most impressive group of courtly quality weapons to come to auction in well over a generation
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