- Museum number
- Series: Oxus Treasure
Gold plaque ornament: representing on the front a recumbent lion-griffin with bent legs, curled tail with a leaf end, wings, straight horns and long pointed ears, embossed and chased with the head completed in the round. There are cavities for inlay on the flank and shoulder. At the back of the plaque are two long prongs for attachment. Its most likely purpose was as a hair or cap ornament (aigrette). Scythian influence is evident in the folded legs of the beast.
- Production date
- 5thC BC-4thC BC
Length: 6.15 centimetres
Weight: 43.70 grammes
- Curator's comments
- A torc from barrow 2 at Pazyryk in Siberia has mounted on it composite figures that bear some resemblance to this plaque (Rudenko, 'Frozen Tombs from Siberia: the Pazyryk burials of Iron Age horsemen' 1970: fig. 50 on p. 107).
- Bibliographic references
Dalton 1964a / The treasure of the Oxus with other examples of early oriental metal-work (pp. 11-13, fig.46, pl. I)
Rice TT 1965a / Ancient Arts of Central Asia (fig.22, p.32)
Barnett 1968a / The Art of Bactria and the Treasure of the Oxus (pp.44-47, pl. VIII: 3)
Curtis 1989a / Ancient Persia (inside back cover)
Mitchell T C 1989a / Oxus. Der Oxus-Schatz aus dem British Museum London / The Oxus Treasure from the British Museum, London (p.38, no.11)
Curtis & Kruszynski 2002a / Ancient Caucasian and Related Material in The British Museum (no. 172, fig. 42, pl. 16)
Curtis & Tallis 2005 / Forgotten Empire: The world of Ancient Persia (cat. 194, p. 148)
Stark 2012a / Nomads and networks: elites and their connections to the outside world (pp.110-11, fig. 7-2) (suggests it is a Bactrian or Sogdian piece aimed at a nomadic market)
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2017 - 2018 14 Sep - 14 Jan, London/BM/SEG/Russia
2006 7 Mar-11 Jun, Barcelona, Fundacion La Caixa, 'L'imperi Oblidat'
2005-2006 Sept-Jan, London, BM, 'Forgotten Empire'
1995-2005 17 Nov-Aug BM, G52/IRAN/29b
1994 16 Jun-23 Dec BM, G49/IRAN/27
1990 28 Jun-23 Sep, Australia, Melbourne, Museum of Victoria, Civilization: Ancient Treasures from the British Museum, cat. no.18
1990 24 Mar-10 Jun, Australia, Canberra, National Gallery of Australia, Civilization: Ancient Treasures from the British Museum, cat. no.18
1989 Zurich, "Oxus. Der Oxus-Schatzaus dem British Museum London / The Oxus Treasure from the British Museum, London", Museum Rietberg
1989 Temporary display, BM, Room 35 (Hinton St Mary mosaic staircase)
1975-ca 1990 Jul- BM, Iranian Room [IR], OT case
1931-ca 1939 BM, Room 20: Persian Room
1923-1931 BM, King Edward VII Building: Franks Display
1900- BM, Gold Ornament Room
- Almost complete but missing inlays.
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: OT 23