WESTERN ASIATIC SEAL WITH FROG
Measurements: 3 cm - diameter
Description: A hemispheric black serpentine stamp seal with a carved depiction of a frog. The item features a horizontally pierced suspension loop. The item comes with an imprint of the seal image. This is a rare depiction of the frog on the underside of a stamp seal. Normally the frogs were appearing on naturalistically shaped amulets, which were deposited in the graves. Larger stone frogs were used as weights. This frog appears to be ‘flattened’ on a horizontal plane with its legs outstretched, a shape that has been compared to the depictions of birth-giving posture. In many cultures, frogs are associated with spring, regeneration and unborn children because they are highly fertile animals. Frogs were widely present in the marshlands of Mesopotamia and on the banks of the Nile, which explains their popularity in the Near Eastern and Egyptian iconography.
Reference: For more about symbolism of frogs see: Werness, H. B., Encyclopaedia of Animal Symbolism in Art, 2006, pg. 189.
Provenance: Property of a London gentleman, acquired from a major Mayfair gallery. Acquired on the London art market before 2000, by repute from the Erlenmeyer collection.
Period: 1st millennium BC
Condition: Very fine.