Near Eastern Black Hardstone Stamp Seal Bead

Near Eastern Black Hardstone Stamp Seal Bead
Circa 2nd Millennium BC

A very finely rendered Near Eastern black hardstone stamp seal bead. The sides feature artistically rendered incised lines, giving the seal itself a somewhat whimsical shape. The bead has been pierced longitudinally for suspension.

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 1.3cm length

Provenance: From an important Mayfair collection, 1970-1999; thence by descent.

Lot details
Near Eastern
Black Hardstone
Stamp Seal Bead
Century/ Timeframe
Circa 2nd Millennium BC
Good Condition, See Photo
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