Mesopotamian Rock Crystal Statuette of a Leopard
Near Eastern · Proto-sumerian, ca. 3000 B.C.
L: 5.3 cm
H: 1.81 cm
This exquisite little statuette is carved in the shape of a reclining leopard with a spotted hide. The superb rendering of the animal’s anatomical details, the hind thighs, the paws, the muzzle, eyes and ears, and the holes, which are lightly and very precisely drilled, and may have been inlaid with semi-precious stones, creating a decadent polychrome effect, which would have added to the already luxurious nature of this piece. This statuette is a masterpiece of the ancient gem-carver’s craft, and is the only Proto-Sumerian rock crystal depiction of a leopard known.
Art market, prior to 1982;
Ex-Elie Boustros, 1948-1982, Beirut, Lebanon.
GEHRIG U, Tiebilder aus vier Jahrtausenden, Antiken der Sammlung Mildenberg, Mainz am Rhein, 1983, p. 16, n° 2
ZAHLHASS G. , Aus Noah Arche, Tierbild der Sammlung Mildenberg aus fünf Jahrtausenden, Mainz am Rhein, 1996.
The Oriental Institute
Chicago, Illinois, United States
The British Museum
London, United Kingdom
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York, New York, United States