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Ca. 2700-1500 BC
A well-formed silver Elamite beaker with intricate incised decoration. The vessel features a frieze of stylised rams or ibexes on its exterior, a distinctive Iranian motif suggested to be associated with heroic rulers or protective spirits. Below them is a frieze of stylised trees, also known as tree of life.


Representations of animals comprised a large portion of the ancient artistic repertoire. Specifically, images of wild animals with features considered dangerous or powerful appear in all periods of ancient Near Eastern art, dating back to the Neolithic period. The tree of life motif was first developed in Mesopotamia during the 4th millennium BC, and was found everywhere within the Near Eastern oikumene by the 2nd Millennium BC, and later embraced within Christian iconography.

Provenance:From a London private collection, H.A., formed in the 1970s.


  • Dimensions 

    H:115mm / W:90mm ; 150g

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