Lot 2474: Western Asiatic Old Babylonian Plaque with God Nergal
December 9, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 18th-17th century BC. A D-shaped baked clay plaque fragment with high-relief figure of a standing god Nergal wearing tall cap, with long curly hair and heard, a pair of bull(?) ears, in left hand holding a mace decorated by a double lion's head, two daggers secured at the belt, a pair of decoration or weapons with lion head finial to the shoulders. See similar depiction in The Israel Museum, accession number: 89.40.15; Princeton University Art Museum, accession number 2002-74. 177 grams, 10.3cm (4"). From a German collection; acquired on the German art market before 1990. Nergal was a Mesopotamian god of war, plague and negative aspect of the sun. His domain was the Underworld, where he ruled over death together with other deities and later with his wife Ereshkigal. According to one myth, she had been the sole queen of the underworld into which Nergal was sent to apologise for having offended her messenger. There, he was seduced by her, but managed to trick his way out of her realm. Ereshkigal was angry about the loss of her lover and finally had him brought back to her. From this point onward, they ruled the underworld jointly. In his astral aspect, he was connected with planet Mars. As a god of war and underworld, Nergal controlled a variety of demons and evil forces, who are particularly prominent in the myth of Erra as agents of death and destruction. [No Reserve]
Condition Report: Fine condition.