Western Asiatic Black Stone Stamp Seal with Griffin


A Western Asiatic black hardstone stamp seal featuring a rectangular shape. Finely engraved on the base is a winged figure, possibly a griffin in flight, depicted grasping its prey with its hind legs. The anatomical features, including the sharp beak and long feathers, have been stylistically rendered through delicate incisions. A single linear border frames the image. The seal is further decorated with a central, horizontal groove along the sides. To the reverse, there is an integral rectangular protrusion within a carved hexagonal frame, perforated vertically for suspension.

The piece comes with a museum-quality impression.

Date: Circa 1st Millennium BC
Provenance: Collection of a deceased London gentleman, 1969-1999.
Condition: Fine condition.


SKU: CY-197 Category: Tags: ,

Seals were often made of stone however there are also examples rendered in bone, ivory, faience, glass, metal, wood, and even sun-dried or baked clay. In the ancient world, seals guaranteed the authenticity of marked ownership – as such, they were instrumental in legal transactions, and in the protection of goods against theft. Stamp seals and cylinder seals were the predominant types in the ancient Near East while seal amulets with stylised animals have been found throughout Mesopotamia dating to the late fourth millennium BC. Winged-dragons or winged-griffins were one of the most favoured decorative motifs used by Near Eastern artists during the Iron Age. They might have been directly inspired from Assyrian winged-genies, deities usually associated with protection, life and kingship within the Assyrian religion.

To discover more about Western Asiatic stamp seals, please visit our blog: Making their Mark: A Concise Guide to Western Asiatic Stamp Seals

Weight 17.3 g
Dimensions L 2.8 x W 1.9 x H 1.4 cm



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