The Freud Museum

Luristan animal finial

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3043, Luristan animal finial, Iron Age II, 9th-8th century BC

Artist: Photographer: Ardon Bar Hama
Culture: Iranian (Luristan)
Material: Bronze
Dimensions: 11.8 x 5.4 x 3.6 cm

Bronze Luristan animal finial of two standing lions facing each other.

The centre of the figure is hollow and the two animals are outstretched, connected by the paws of the hind and forelegs. They face inwards as though they are looking at each others' faces.  The eyes are represented by two larger, and raised, circles at the top of the heads. The design shows folds in the skin on the heads of the animals, possibly to represent where the mouths are opened so wide.  The finial swivels on the base making it unstable for handling.

This type of animal finial is more rare compared to others and it is also in relatively good condition. However, because many are not known (i.e. legally excavated) it could be that this example was looted from a site, possibly in Iran. For this reason it may have been bought from a dealers around the first few decades of the 20th century when many were starting to apper on the market.

See this object on our Collections site here 

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