Measurements: 21.2 cm – height, 27 cm – length


Description: A Western Asiatic Amlash terracotta bull strainer vessel. The bull has short horns with small ears underneath and a mouth that forms a funnel, with incised eyes and an incised necklace around its neck. The conical body has a hump at the base of the neck and a trumpet-shaped spout at the rear of the top of the body. The spout is pierced with six holes for straining liquid. Vessels of this type were probably used for ceremonial function and often placed in graves.


Amlaš, a small village in the Gīlān province of northern Iran, has given its name to an assortment of archaeological artefacts recovered from the valleys of the nearby Alborz range. The term “Amlash” began to be used with the Paris exhibition of 1961. These artefacts range in date from the late second millennium BC through the Partho-Sasanian period, with most dated to the 9th and 8th centuries BC. Tombs in the area have produced both black and orange burnished pottery vessels and trilobite bronze arrowheads and fibulae. A main characteristic of Amlash pottery is its intricate sculptural detail and technical manufacture. Representations of animal figures are abundant in Amlash pottery and are usually depictions of common animals to that region.


Provenance: Ex. London auction house, before: property of an English gentleman; ex. Pars Antiques, 1990’s.


Period: 10th – 8th century BC


Condition: Very fine, intact, earthy encrustations over the whole, with minor chipping to the mouth funnel and ears, a chip to the trumpet-shaped spout and considerable chipping to the front right and back left feet.

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