Neo-Assyrian Carnelian Bronze-Mounted Cylinder Seal with a Religious Scene

£ 750.00

A finely engraved Neo-Assyrian cylinder seal, featuring a horizontal register with a religious scene which depicts an enthroned god sitting in front of an enclosure. Standing in front of the seated Marduk are two male deities facing each other wearing ankle-length robes. One of them is raising his hand pointing at the pleiades’s sign that is suggested by the seven spheres. Before the two deities is the tree of life and geometric motifs. This seal is mounted with a narrow bronzed modelling inside the vertically perforation. One side of the bronze mounting is creatively styled into a double-faceted sculpture featuring crescent-shaped horns.

Impression is for reference only.

Date: Circa 800-750 BC
Provenance: From a collection of a deceased gentleman pre 1988
Condition: Good condition, green patination covers the surface of the bronze.


SKU: PP-03 Category: Tags: , ,

Employing small spheres and cylindrical geometric shapes with smooth, round edges to represent figures’ bodies and other essential elements, is the most iconic invention created by the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian glyptic artists. Seals were incredibly important in ancient Mesopotamia, and as time progressed, they became increasingly intricate and personalised. Seals served as a signature, so it was important that they be unique and recognisable. Furthermore, they were often worn on the body as jewellery, likely for accessibility. As the seals were becoming part of one’s daily adornment, we see them becoming highly stylised, made from fine minerals and gems, with bold colours and embellishments.

Across the many governments, societies, and empires that rose and fell across the Mesopotamian region, there remained a constant reputation for bureaucracy, efficiency, and innovation in trade and commerce. This is the context in which to admire their seals. The Mesopotamian seals were one of the first ways to authorise sales, allowing for more trust and official record in business. It reduced riskiness and foul play in trade, and allowed people to feel secure that there was an official process, with documentation. This advanced level of economic regulation is a significant part of why so many developments, such as the first writing, came out of Mesopotamia, and why indeed the region is often called the very birthplace of civilisation itself.

To find out more about Mesopotamian cylinder seals, please see our relevant blog post: Mesopotamian cylinder seals- Exploring Glyptic Image

Weight 7.9 g
Dimensions H 3.8 cm
Semi-Precious Stones




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