- Museum number
Blue chalcedony cylinder seal with white patination; antithetical scene consisting of a 'sacred' rosette-tree flanked by winged genies. The tree has a columnar trunk, decorated with a chevron design and punctuated by two pairs of drill-holes at the top and middle and by one pair at the bottom from which emerge, on each side, five undulating and intersecting stems with a pointed bud at the end of each, pointing upwards; the trunk rises from a small hill and has petalled globe at the top from which radiate pointed buds. The genies are bearded and each wears a tiered, fringed, open skirt with borders of dot-filled squares, over a fringed kilt; they have four wings of which two are shown, with the upper one shorter than the lower in the Assyrian manner and with the nearest wing lowered. They raise their right hands (as if holding a cone) and carry a bucket in the other. The toes of the right-hand figure are shown beneath the fringe of the skirt but this feature is missing in the case of the other figure, due to a chip. Chipped with a chip below the left-hand figure smoothed and the foot recut. Slightly flattened.
Diameter: 1.35 - 1.40 centimetres
Height: 2.55 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- According to catalogue this seal "seems strangely non-Assyrian, despite the dress of the figures and the differing lengths of the wings (in Babylonia they would have been the same length). I have suggested that they may have been made by Babylonian craftsman either in Assyria or for the Assyrian market, probably towards the end of the eighth century. A carnelian seal in the Erlenmeyer Collection was probably a product of the same workshop (sold at Sotheby's London June 1997 (Lot 90)) A similar design appears alongside a Babylonian invocation, written horizontally in the Elamite manner, on numerous seal impressions from Susa."
- Not on display
- Fair; chipped; slightly flattened?.
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number