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The Guennol Lioness


Steve Duryea

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Well, this is certainly not my work and it is certainly not new. But it may just be the most powerful miniature sculpture I've ever seen. This thing is scary in its intensity.

 

Purchased in 1948 by A.B. Martin (who I am happy to say owns three of my pieces, if he is still with us-- he was in his mid-90s four years ago and had gone from very reclusive to totally reclusive), who donated it to the Brooklyn Museum, where it was on display until 2007.

 

After that, it could have been yours... for a mere $57,161,000.

 

The Guennol Lioness

 

Somebody in Mesopotamia sure as hell knew what they were doing 5000 years ago.

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Somebody in Mesopotamia sure as hell knew what they were doing 5000 years ago.

 

Although that may be true considering the tools they may have had to use. It is limestone after all.

It is indeed a beautiful piece of work, and I am curiouse to what the holes are behind the head.

I wonder if peppershakers back then had two holes as most do today?

 

Other than the age of the item itself,I see work on this forum that has held me in awe far greater than this.

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... I am curious to what the holes are behind the head...

 

There isn't much to look at for reference. The auctioneers ventured this guess LINK along with beefy bibliography.

 

A couple of the items cited are online: the silver figure in the Met collection and the seal imprint showing the same lion-headed character with a sizeable tail attached where the carving has four holes to show. There isn't allot at hand to judge the meaning and the relative accomplishment of the object against [shudder!]

 

I am quite curious of what the mentioned 'pair' found at Dyala looks like, but there is no source at hand (I do not read German). The Oriental Institute at U. Chicago offers an account of the dig and the items in its posession HERE, but not the one. Another type shared between the same two locations HERE, courtesy of the Louvre.

 

Sotheby's made a video of it: See it HERE (even if you don't care for the refined salesmnship, it is nice to see the thing handled!)

 

 

Just a thought...

 

 

It is quite unfortunate that the 'average' archaeological finds rarely make it in public view. With ony the exceptional shown, it is difficult to get (or tell) what exactly is supposed to make the battered bits impressive at all. Wonder if anyone of the curator lot finds this skewed perspective bothersome at all? I can cont on fingers how many objects of comparable age inspire any emotion as expected of contemporary art (probably missing much, no question), most can hardly be 'read', with no pretense that anything but the dating could possibly be impressive about them.

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