Master-of-animals standard finial

Historical period(s)
Iron Age II - III, ca. 1000-650 BCE
Copper alloy; cast
H x W x D: 27.8 x 9.8 x 3 cm (10 15/16 x 3 7/8 x 1 3/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


casting, Iran, Iron Age II (ca. 1250 - 800 BCE), Iron Age III (ca. 800 - 500 BCE), lion, WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable

An important industry in bronze and copper artifacts flourished in the region of Luristan, western Iran, between about 1400 and 600 B.C.E.  This object is one of the most typical Luristan bronzes: a finial, or ornamental pole top, which was originally mounted on a bottle-shaped support (see S1995.111).  The finials were often fashioned in the form of a demon flanked by panthers (or other leonine creatures).  As in this example, the flanking leonine creatures often terminate in predatory heads with a cock's head projecting from the neck.

Published References
  • , et al. Asian Art in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Inaugural Gift. Washington, 1987. cat. 14, p. 41.
  • Oscar W. Muscarella. Bronze and Iron: Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York. pp. 136-141.
  • P.R.S. Moorey. Catalogue of the Ancient Persian Bronzes in the Ashmolean Museum. Oxford. pp. 153-60.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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