- Museum number
- Series: Lady Layard's Necklace
Chalcedony cylinder seal; blue-grey with white patination probably acquired during burial; a bearded figure (possibly a priest?) in a flat cap and a fringed robe, pointing with one hand and extending the other, stands facing a tasselled crescent-standard on stepped podium. To the left of the standard is a rhomb; to the right, one above the other are a star (chipped), a frontal bull's head and a globe-topped dagger-shaped symbol, and a fish which is swimming towards the left; at the end of the scene is a winged disc with streamers above a palm-tree with side shoots, set on a table or stand between a wedge or stylus of Nabu and the tasselled spade of Marduk. The design was executed with cutting-wheel, file and drill. The seal probably had line borders at top and bottom, but these have been almost totally hidden by a gold setting added in the nineteenth century imitating chevron borders. Slightly barrel-shaped. There are faults in the stone and a large chip beside the winged-disc.Mounted in gold ear-ring.
- Production date
7thC BC (seal)
19thC (gold setting)
Diameter: 1.20 - 1.25 centimetres
Height: 2.05 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Part of a set of jewellery comprising necklace, ear-rings and bracelet given by Sir Austen Henry Layard to his bride, Enid; comprises of cylinder seals made up into a necklace, bracelet and two ear-rings in Victorian gold settings; made by Messrs Phillips of Cockspur Street; displayed in original shaped leather box lined with violet velvet; set of jewellery also recorded on file card big.no 115656. Additional reference in catalogue: R.D Barnett, 'Lady Layard's Jewelry' in P.R.S Moorey and P.J Parr (eds). "Archaeology in the Levant: Essays for Kathleen Kenyon", Warminister 1978, pp.172-9, no.5.
Lady Layard's necklace, made up from Assyrian and Babylonian cylinder and stamp seals, 105111-105128, set in gold mounts. Also two ear-rings and a bracelet.
The bracelet terminates at each end in lions' heads with barrel shaped links in their mouths. The bracelet is hollow cast with invisible hinges at each side. Inside the hoop is the applied gold trade label used by Phillips Brothers of London.
The necklace is made up of eleven cylinder seals and four stamp seals. The cylinder seals are drilled through the centre and capped with gold; the seperating links are in the form of hollow stamped double lotus buds. The three pendant stamp seals are surmonted by lions ' heads with graduated beading on the seals caps.
The ear-rings are each formed of chalcedony seals with a lion's head above and an ornament resembling a pine cone below.
The seal caps on both necklace and ear-rings are bordered with a chevron motif in applied wire, while at each end is a design of wirework ovals.
- On display (G55/dc15)
- Exhibition history
2013 - 2014 22 June - 6 Jan, Toronto, Royal Ontario Museum, 'Mesopotamia, Inventing Our World'
2013: 30 Jan-13 May, Museum of History, Hong Kong, 'The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia'
2012: 4 May-7 Oct, Melbourne Museum, 'The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia'
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'
Art and Empire, catalogue no. 250.
2004-2005 15 Oct-16 Jan, London, Leighton House Museum and Linley Sambourne House, 'The Price of Beauty: Edward Long's 'Babylonian Marriage Market'
Exhibition: 'Layard and his Successors. Assyrian Explorations and Discovery in the XIXth century', Assyrian Basement 1 Jul-31 Aug 1963.
- Fair; faults in the stone and a large chip.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Acquired during Layard's expeditions to Mesopotamia between 1845 and 1851. Lady Layard claimed it was found by her husband at Nineveh, however Barnett suggests that the seal may have been found in at the Palace of Esarhadden in Nimrud. See the Journals of Lady Layard (British Library, AddMSS 46153-4) vol. I folio 2v and Vol II folio 113v (23 iii 1869 and 23 vii 1973) on their presentation to Lady Layard and their being shown to Queen Victoria at Osborne. Bequest reported in BM Return 1913, pp.81-82.
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 115656 (Lady Layard's jewellery is also recorded under this number)
- Joined objects
Associated Group: G10325 (10 objects)