Lot 2246: Western Asiatic Achaemenid Cylinder Seal with King
December 9, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 5th century BC. A dark red carnelian cylinder seal with finely cut standing figure of a king holding a lion on each side, accompanied by a typed and signed scholarly note issued by W.G. Lambert, late Professor of Assyriology, University of Birmingham, 1970-1993, which states: Cylinder Seal of Red Cornellian. 22 x 11.5 mm. The design shows the Achaemenid Persian king wearing a tall crown, a tunic, and Persian trousers, divided in the middle. He is bearded and a big shock of hair falls at the back of his head. he is standing and holds off on each side a rearing monster. They are lions with wings and horns. This is an Achaemenid Persian seal, c. 500-350 B.C., from some part of the Persian empire. The design is finely cut and the seal is in excellent condition. The scene is symbolic: the king is defeating his enemies. Accompanied by a copy of the catalogue entry and catalogue cover. For motif see Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Accession Number 36.106.2. 5.73 grams, 22mm (3/4"). Property of a London collector; formerly with Christie's, New York, 11 December 2003, lot 355, private collection 1990s; accompanied by a copy of the catalogue entry and catalogue cover. Cylinder seals from Achaemenid period are rare and are thought to have been restricted to officials of the royal administration. That would explain why the majority of seal depicts royalty engaged in hunting, combat or in scenes court and religious life.
Condition Report: Very fine condition. Very rare.