- Museum number
Chalcedony cylinder seal with grey-blue and blue body deliberately etched to create blue banding on a white background; originally divided into three registers by single horizontal lines but the upper section is missing. Rows of animals and monsters, ancillary Egyptianizing signs.
On the top surviving (middle) is a double contest with two pairs of rampant lions fighting over two animals; to the left, the lions with their heads shown frontally and their tufted tails curving round their legs, attack a stumbling bull; to the right, the lions, shown in profile with their tails curled up, battle over a fallen caprid (possibly an antelope); over their backs is inscription. The manes are marked by fine, overlapping lines over the head and neck, and the rib area by four oblique lines.
The third (bottom) register, has to the left, one pair of confronting, sejunt, regardant, winged lions, the manes marked by short, separated, oblique strokes; to the right is a pair of confronting, sejunt, winged, male sphinxes, each with a foreleg raised, their hair in a page-boy style below their low, flat-topped headgear. Each monster has its tail curved round its haunches and its rib area marked as above; their wings, sweeping obliquely back and up, have the double rows of feathers singled out from a narrow central ridge and splaying round the tips.
One third (the upper section) is missing; further chips and fine cracks over the surface. The barrel-shaped is unusual in that the surviving end is recessed in relation to the engraved part, forming a ledge and extending below it. Presumably metal caps, probably of gold, would have fitted over the ends.
- Production date
- 6thC BC-4thC BC
Diameter: 1 centimetres (extant?)
Diameter: 1.60 (original?)
Diameter: 0.30 centimetres (perforation)
Height: 3.50 centimetres (extant)
Height: 4.70 centimetres (original)
- Curator's comments
- Originally described on the record card as "onyx"; re-identified as quartz var. chalcedony. Merrillees catalogue states it is of agate.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2006 7 Mar-11 Jun, Barcelona, Fundacion La Caixa, 'L'imperi Oblidat'
2005-2006 Sept-Jan, London, BM, 'Forgotten Empire'
- Incomplete; one third (the upper section) is missing; further chips and fine cracks over the surface.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Southesk Collection. Acquired by Southesk from W.T Ready in 1896.
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number