- Museum number
Bronze figure of dog and master: the figures may represent a protective spirit and mastiff dog which guarded the house against demons.
- Production date
Height: 7.40 centimetres
Weight: 350 grammes
Width: 5.60 centimetres
Depth: 5.80 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- When a human figure is cast in bronze together with a dog in this way, he is always male. He may himself be a god (Enlil, Marduk and Ea all had their fierce hounds, while Ninurta had five), or he may be the offerer of the dog (perhaps to Gula), or the person seeking the protection of the dog or its patron deity. Alternatively, the master may be a protective spirit. The figurine could then have had a magical function, and could either have stood on its own or derive from a set of seven dogs, one of which was led, like the sets of seven 'apkallu' spirits. Protective figurines made of bronze might have remained visible in houses, rather than being buried. A group of seven dogs, one with its master, was found at Nippur in Babylonia, on a floor dating from the Assyrian period or somewhat later.
E. A. Braun-Holzinger, ‘Figürliche Bronzen aus Mesopotamien’ (Prähistorische Bronzefunde. Abteilung 1/ 4). (Munich, 1984), 94-5, pl. 64;
V. E. Crawford, ‘Nippur the Holy City’, ‘Archaeology’ 12 (1959), 81.
- On display (G55/dc9)
- Exhibition history
2014 - 2015 22 Sep - 5 Jan, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 'Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age'
2008-2009 21 Sept-4 Jan, Boston, MFA, 'Art and Empire'
2007 2 Apr-30 Sept, Alicante, MARQ Museum, 'Art and Empire'
2006 1 Jul-7 Oct, Shanghai Museum, 'Art and Empire'
1991 8 Jan-24 Mar, Birmingham Museum and City Art Gallery, Man’s Best Friend
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number