Lot 2245: Western Asiatic Akkadian Gilgamesh Cylinder Seal

TimeLine Auctions

December 9, 2016
London, United Kingdom

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Description: Old Akkadian, late 3rd millennium BC. A black agate cylinder seal with intaglio scenes of contest between a human hero (Gilgamesh), two figures with curved necks and horses' manes, two lamassus, amid bushes and foliage. 36 grams, 34mm (1 1/2"). Private collection, London, UK; formerly with Persepolis Gallery, Mayfair, London, UK; in the 1980s. It is widely believed that Gilgamesh was a historical king of the Sumerian city of Uruk some time during the Early Dynastic Period. By the Later Dynastic Period this figure had been transformed into a deity and was already being worshipped at a number of different places in Sumer. He was considered the patron deity of a number of kings and is described as 'divine brother' on a number of inscriptions. There are five independent narrative poems that date to the first half of the second millennium BC and which collectively relate the myths associated with the god. These are, 'Gilgamesh and Agga', which relates to the rebellion of Gilgamesh against his overlord and benefactor, King Agga of Kish. 'Gilgamesh and the Cedar Forest', relates how the hero and his friend Enkidu defeat and kill the monster Humbaba, who had been appointed by the god Enlil as guardian of the cedar forest. 'Gilgamesh and the Bull of Heaven', tells how the heroic duo defeat and kill a bull that had been sent by the goddess Ishtar after he had rejected her sexual advances. 'The Death of Gilgamesh' is poorly preserved, but seems to relate to the state funeral of Gilgamesh and his arrival in the underworld. In 'Gilgamesh, Enkidu and the Nether World', Gilgamesh questions the spirit of Enkidu about conditions in the underworld. By the Old Babylonian Period these stories had been elaborated into one grand epic which survives in twelve fragmentary tablets, first discovered in the library of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal at his capital of Nineveh. Such was the popularity of Gilgamesh that he is one of the most commonly depicted images on cylinder seals from across Mesopotamia.
Condition Report: Very fine condition. Very rare.
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Antiquities: Day 4

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TimeLine Auctions
December 9, 2016, 10:00 AM GMT

London, United Kingdom

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Shipping Terms: 27. Title, Risk and Insurance: Title to any Lot is retained by the Seller until the Purchase Price and all other sums payable by the Buyer to TimeLine have been paid in full in cleared funds to TimeLine; at this point, Title will transfer from the Seller to the Buyer. Risk for the Lot passes to the Buyer at the time the Lot is knocked down to the Bidder. TimeLine does not hold property insured after the Lot has been knocked down.

28. Collection of Lots and Storage: Once the Buyer has paid the Purchase Price in full, TimeLine will release the Lot to the Buyer for collection. The Buyer must collect, or arrange the collection of, all purchases from the location advised by TimeLine by 4.30pm on the seventh working day following the Date of Sale. Buyers may use the services of Mail Boxes Etc (contact details are provided on TimeLine documentation) or a service of their choice for collection, packing and shipping services. Lots not collected by the seventh working day following the Date of Sale will be moved to storage at a transfer cost of £20 plus VAT per lot and storage charges will thereafter be applied at the rate of £1.90 plus VAT per lot per day until collected; no lots may be removed until any storage costs have been paid in full. In the event that the accrual of storage charges reaches 50% of the Hammer Price paid or after the expiration of three months from the transfer date, whichever occurs first, Timeline reserve the right to re-sell any and all lots stored without notice and in any manner at their sole discretion and to apply any proceeds in defrayment of such costs. The buyer will be entitled to receive any credit balance above the amount of the costs on request but will remain liable for any deficit.

29. Delivery by TimeLine: at the absolute discretion of TimeLine, TimeLine may, on request, directly arrange delivery of certain Lots to the address registered to the Buyer, on payment by the Buyer to TimeLine of any advised handling and delivery charge. TimeLine does not insure property in transit but can arrange insurance at a cost of 6% of the total invoice value or minimum of £10, whichever is the higher; cover being limited to the to the invoiced amount paid for the Lot and subject to a £200 excess on any claim.
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