- Museum number
Crescentic axe; copper alloy, cast; attached by flat connecting bar to a socket of small bore, decorated with lion mask at the junction of the blade and shaft; hollow shaft-hole decorated with four raised bands and a crouching lion along the butt, with tail curled to form a small ring.
- Production date
- 1100BC-750BC (according to Moorey)
Diameter: 1.60 centimetres (interior of socket)
Height: 18.40 centimetres
Length: 7.25 inches
Weight: 256 grammes
Width: 10 centimetres
Width: 4 inches
- Curator's comments
Comparanda include: 'Survey of Persian Art', pl. 49B; Boisgirard auction catalogue (Hotel Drouot, Paris), 16 November 2007, p.64, lot 95.
Original catalogue entry by St J. Simpson for Cernuschi loan (2008)
Between 12th and 8th centuries BC
Length 18.4, Width 10, Diameter 1.6 cm (interior of shaft-hole), Weight 256 g
Gadd 1931a: 109, pl. LIV.a (left); Gadd 1931b: 80; Moorey 1974: 23, 46, pl. I.B
London, The British Museum, 122191 (ME 1930,1220.2)
Donated by Sir Robert Ludwig Mond (1867-1938) in 1930
Crescentic axe-head; copper alloy, cast in a two-piece mould. The junction of the blade and shaft-hole is decorated with a highly stylised representation of a lion’s head with small rounded ears and large eyes resembling concentric circles. The shaft-hole is decorated with four raised bands imitating tightly wrapped cord with a small crouching lion along the butt, with its tail curled to form a small ring. The cutting edge of the blade shows possible signs of having been lightly sharpened, suggesting that it had been used for more than simply show.
This type of axe was contemporary with the spike-butted axes and shares the same style, but the shape ultimately may derive from Elamite or Mesopotamian weapons. A large number are reported from Luristan although none have yet been found in archaeological contexts: some, like this example, are entirely of copper alloy but others have a copper alloy butt cast onto an iron blade. This object was one of three “Luristan bronzes” presented to the British Museum in 1930 by the prominent collector Sir Robert Mond, and they represent the earliest donation of such objects to the museum.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2008 9 Feb-22 Jun, Paris, Musée Cernuschi, "Bronzes du Luristan. Mystères de l'Iran ancien. IIIe-Ier millénaire avant notre ère".
1995-2005 17 Nov-14 Dec, BM, G52/IRAN/15.
1994 994 16 Jun-23 Dec, BM, G49/IRAN/1.
1975-1990 July-Dec, BM, Iranian Room [IR], case 3, no. 2.
Persian Landing, case 1.
Iranian Room, case 2.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Reported to Trustees 5 December 1930.
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number