Animals have always widely featured in Near Eastern artwork, holding different representations. These can be seen as early as the Uruk period in which domestic and wild animals were carved into sculptures. Across the Near East, animals were portrayed both in a naturalistically and abstract style with enhanced features used to depict certain qualities. For example, the use of wings and claws were deemed dangerous or powerful thus, this amulet may have been used to bestow power and strength to the owner. Animals such as the lion were used to signify the power of rulers, placed in the gateways of royal sites. Birds too were highly regarded and have been depicted across many mediums, such as this fine example, with hunting birds being the most prized type, usually used by sultans and in palaces.
Western Asiatic Hardstone Zoomorphic Amulet
A finely carved Western Asiatic hardstone zoomorphic amulet, featuring an abstract zoomorphic contour, possibly a bird with the base tapering to a point. The eyes are deeply recessed, indicating that there were once embedded shells or semi-precious stone inlays.
Provenance: Private SM collection, London, acquired 1970s-2000s.
Condition: Good Condition.