Scythian Rhyton with Animal Head
Antiquities - Greek
GBP (£) 3,000 - 4,000
EUR (€) 3,550 - 4,730
USD ($) 3,880 - 5,180
Sold for (Inc. premium): £3,100
2nd-1st century BC
A silver rhyton in the shape of a conical horn with beaded rim to the top and two further collars to the body with beaded decoration; the end in the form of a ram head with horns curving round ears, small hole to mouth, one eye inlaid with gold pupil. 330 grams, 33cm (13"). Fine condition.
Property of a London gentleman; acquired from a major Mayfair gallery; acquired on the London art market before 2000.
See Martha L. Carter, Arts of the Hellenised East: Precious Metalwork of the Pre-Islamic Era, London, 2015; another example with Ram's head terminal illustrated in: Ellen D. Reeder, Scythian Gold, 1999, no.163; also a Scythian example of circa 350-325 BC, from Sololeva Mohyla, near village of Hirniat'ske.
Elaborate bowls, animal-headed drinking vessels, and rhytons are vessels which have a hole at the front from which liquid flows, and were highly valued in ancient Near Eastern society. During the pre-Achaemenid, Achaemenid, Parthian and Sassanian periods, examples made of silver, gold, and clay were used throughout a vast area extending both to the east and west of Iran. The animals on these vessels included the ram, horse, bull, ibex, supernatural creatures, and female divinities; some were engraved with royal inscriptions. Rhytons made of precious materials were probably luxury wares used at royal courts. Both the rhyton and the animal-headed vessel were adopted by the Greek world as exotic and prestigious Oriental products.
Tuesday 21st February 2017 :
to Saturday 25 February 2017: Antiquities & Coins
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Lot No. 0049