Western Asiatic Gold and Lapis Lazuli Anthropomorphic Applique

£ 1,300.00

An extremely fine Near Eastern-Western Asiatic applique, composed of a thin layer of metal on which gold and lapis lazuli insets have been added to recreate an anthropomorphic figure. The figure is portrayed in profile, genuflected with one hand held to the chest. While the figure’s headpiece and garments are rendered in fine lapis lazuli stones, the face, arms and foot are modelled in high karat gold. Facial features are rendered in a stylised manner, with a single, wide, almond-shaped eye, rendered in bone and drilled to the centre, probably to hold a precious stone or glass inlay. Such applique would have been possibly been part of an elaborate piece of jewellery or sewed directly on a garment. Weight: 10 g.

Date: Circa 2nd Millennium BC
Provenance: From the collection of a North West London gentleman; acquired in the 1980s.
Condition: Extremely fine, with some signs of ageing to the surface.


Product Code: NES-48

Many grand civilizations inhabited the area of Western Asia in Antiquity, and their wealth and prosperity is witnessed by the very sophisticated precious metal crafting of jewellery. Gold would have been hammered down to a thin layer and manipulated into different shapes. Gold, electrum and silver jewellery would have featured gold granules, glass and semi-precious stone inlays and detailed engravings. Fine granulation along with filigree, were at the centre of Near Eastern and Western Asiatic jewellery production and were later adopted by the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans. This beautiful applique might have been part of a larger composition, embellishing a fine piece of jewellery or an elaborate dress. The figure might portray an offerant or worshipper, kneeling in front of a ruler or deity.

To discover more about jewellery in the Ancient World, please visit our relevant post: Jewellery in Antiquity.

Dimensions H 4 cm


Semi-Precious Stone

Lapis Lazuli


Near East (Western Asiatic)

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