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Lot of 2 Achaemenid Bronze Hinges with Lions - Rare!

Ancient Near East, Achaemenid Empire, ca. 500 to 330 BCE. Truly exceptional and rare, a handsome pair of leaded bronze hinges, each bearing cast via the lost wax (cire perdue) process, and comprised of a cylindrical form adorned by two lion heads, one at each end, and a pointed arrowhead extension. The wild feline faces are replete with details: heavy lidded almond-shaped eyes, aquiline noses, laid back ears, and striated manes. Lions were symbols of Achaemenid royalty, as evidenced by the enormous bronze lion-weight and the lion frieze in enameled brick found in the palace at Persepolis. Size: 7" W x 5.125" H (17.8 cm x 13 cm); 8.375" H (21.3 cm) on included custom stand.

According to Elspeth R. M Dusinberre, "Lions or parts of lions were an important element in Achaemenid Persian iconography of architectural and royal furniture support (addorsed capitals, platforms supporting the kin on royal tomb facades, feet and legs of thrones and footstools, etc.) In addition to the relief sculptures of Persepolis and Naqush-I Rustam, the free-standing bronze support from the Treasury of Persepolis in the form of three walking lions is well known. . . . Lions had a long history in Persia as well as Lydia: their connections to kinship and to Kybele, to apotropaic forces and to connotations of power, make it small wonder they should have such preponderance in the sculpture of Achaemenid-period Sardis." ("Aspects of Empire in Achaemenid Sardis" Cambridge University Press, 2003, p. 103)

Condition: Old iron pins lodged in a few of the drilled openings. Encrustation on concave versos. Lion heads present wonderful details and overall forms are very strong. Both present a gorgeous green patina that has developed over the ages.

Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection

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