The Freud Museum

Bronze Luristan finial

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3044, Bronze Luristan finial , Iron Age II, 9th-8th century BC

Artist: Photographer: Ardon Bar Hama
Culture: Iranian (Luristan)
Material: Bronze
Dimensions: 12.1 x 7.3 x 3.6 cm

Bronze Luristan standard finial representing 'master of animals' with a man restraining two lions facing outwards.

The hind legs and bottom of the animal are prominent and the tails of both animals curl into an open hole sprial at the ends.  The heads have protruding circular eyes in the middle and the ears are small protruding lumps at the top of the head nearest to the centre of the finial. Around the shoulders of the animals are thin bent arms raised from the main body that end in 3-clawed feet.  The inside of the hollow finial is encrusted with white deposits.

Luristan standard finials have been interpreted as deity standards, household cult figures, idols, totems, talismans, chariot-pole tops. Aside from the fact they have been found deposited in burials, there is no evidence for their meaning. The more elaborate type may have evolved from the group with heads alone. Since the central figure is clearly more prominent, it may represent a deity.

See this object on our Collections site here 

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