An incredibly fine Near Eastern red hardstone bell shaped stamp seal topped with a loop for suspension. The sides of the cylinder are smooth and unworked. The base features engravings which are still visible, possibly a zoomorphic creature.
A seal comprises a design carved onto a hard material: although most often made of stone, 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. Seal amulets with stylised animals have been found throughout Mesopotamia in contexts dating to the late fourth millennium BC, although stamp seals and cylinder seals were the predominant types in the ancient Near East.
Measurements: circa 2.4cm height
Provenance: From an important Mayfair collection, 1970-1999; thence by descent.
- Near Eastern
- Red Hardstone
- Bell Shaped Stamp Seal
- Century/ Timeframe
- Circa 1st Millennium BC
- Good Condition, See Photo