A finely rendered Luristan cast bronze finial, featuring a pair of bearded ibexes shown in profile, facing inwards with prominent arching horns. The piece is beautifully balanced and symmetrical, with the ibexes’ slender two front legs meet, perched on the central stand, and are further supported by their slender hind legs and stylised, twisted tails. A hollow socket is fixed in between the two animals, suggesting the piece may have been part of a more elaborate Master of the Animals type finial. The finial features some earthly encrustations and natural blue-green patination.
Date: Circa 1200-800 BC Provenance: From the collection of a deceased Japanese gentleman; 1970-2015. Condition: Very fine, a beautiful deep green patination visible on the surface. Some earthly encrustations.
Small pairs of animals are the most distinctive objects of all cast bronze works reported from Luristan. Finials were made to be seen either from the back or front and were designed to be placed on the top of poles or vertical supports. The first types of ‘animal finials’ consist of a confronting pair of animals, often ibexes or felines. Over time, the animals were produced in a more naturalistic manner and types were widened to include anthropomorphic figures as well as more fantastical demons. The Luristan bronzes, remarkable for their beauty and their historical importance, illustrate the connections between the early art and metallic production of various peoples in Western Asia.