A finely rendered Luristan cast bronze finial fragment, featuring a pair of bearded ibexes shown in profile, facing outwards with prominent arching horns and their two front legs perched on a stand. A hollow socket is fixed in between the two animals. All four ears are pierced from which fragments of chains hang. Beautiful patination and earthly encrustation feature to the surface. The fragment might have originally part of a more elaborate piece, possibly a Master of the Animals type finial.
Date: Circa 1200-800 BC Provenance: Ex. S.M collection, London 1948-2000. Condition: Good condition, one horn is missing from an ibex. Mounted on a custom-made stand.
Small pairs of animals are the most distinctive objects of all cast bronze works reported from Luristan. Finials were made to be seen either from the back or front and were designed to be placed on the top of poles or vertical supports. The first types of ‘animal finials’ consist of a confronting pair of animals. Large horned ibexes and felines were most commonly used, attached to either a tube shape or open rings. Over time, the animals were produced in a more naturalistic manner and types were widened to include animals with human features, demons.
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