Sassanian glyptic arts were highly influenced by Mesopotamian traditions and styles. A wide range of Assyrian and Babylonian prototypes, to which various Sassanian images owe their original inspirations, were directly borrowed by Sassanian artists and creatively adapted to local tastes. However, significant Sassanian inventions, which are the pictorial reflections of a wide variety of religions that once flourished in the Sassanian empire, not only make a distinctive Sassanian style, but also provide essential evidence to Sassanian arts that reveal religious practices and mythological figures. Gayomard was an eschatological figure, primordial giant in the Zoroastrian tradition. He was believed to be the first man, the source of mankind and the first person to rise from the dead when the world is reborn. On some Sassanian seals, he is always accompanied by a lion-headed dog.
Sassanian Agate Stamp Seal of Gayomard Holding Two staffs
An agate Sassanian ring-shaped stamp seal featuring an engraved oval bezel. The flattened surface depicts the carved image of hairy Gayomard, holding a staff in each hand. He is presented in his most iconic representation seen on Sassanian stamp seals, with widely outspread arms and legs, holding a symbolic staff in each hand. The long incised lines are used to express hair or fur. A further deep, long incision is expressed between his abstract legs, signifying exaggerated genitals, which is another identifying attribute of the mythological figure. The seal is perforated through the centre for suspension.
Provenance: Ex Robin Symes Ancient Art Mayfair dealership acquired before 1995.
Condition: Very fine condition, sign of ageing and erosion remain visible to the surface.