- Museum number
- Series: Lady Layard's Necklace
Chalcedony cylinder seal; white-grey; a four-winged (two wings visible) griffin-demon, wearing a fringed kilt decorated with squares, holds a bucket and cone and stands behind a goddess who is seated on a chair, wears a horned head-dress and a fringed robe, holds a ring in her left hand and raises the other; they face a standing worshipper in a fringed robe decorated with squares who points with his right hand and extends the other. Between the figures is a crescent above a cross-legged table on which is a single line which may represent a cloth or bread. Behind them are a winged disc and a star above a palm-shaped (sacred?) tree with a rhomb on the left and a fish on the right, both set vertically; there are traces recutting here, particularly near the star and the fish, which are cut over a faint vertical groove. Line borders at top and bottom, now partly obscured by a gold setting imitating Assyrian borders, with chevron design. Some marks on the seal's surface beside the table and winged disc, may be the result of accidental damage.
- Production date
- 19thC (gold setting)
Diameter: 1.40 centimetres
Height: 2 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Part of a set of jewellery (no.5) comprising necklace, ear-rings and bracelet (according to record card this object is part of the necklace) 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 with violet velvet lining; set of jewellery also recorded in big.no 115656. There is a further cross-reference on record card to record card for 105111.
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.
- Not on display
- 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; some marks on the seal's surface.
- 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 also recorded on this file card)
- Joined objects
Associated Group: G10325 (10 objects)