Luristan Bronze Master of the Animals Finial


A Luristan bronze finial of the ‘Master of the Animals’ type. The central anthropomorphic tube bears a Janus-head with prominent nose and ears, and he holds off a snarling beast on either side.

Date: Circa 8th - 7th century BC.
Period: Late Bronze Age
Condition: Very Fine condition; surfaces with accretions and consequently slightly rough.

In stock

Product Code: AS-3675
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The Master of the Animals was a supernatural protector of game, the ruler of the forest, and the guardian of the entire animal kingdom. He is depicted as a human figure standing between the heads, necks, and stylised bodies of equestrian creatures presented in profile. The figure’s grasp on the animals has been interpreted by some as a sign of control.

The precise function of objects like this is unknown, and remains one of the mysteries of antiquity. Suggestions range from the religious – depictions of deities, idols, talismans, etc. – to the utilitarian – adornments for chariots or articles used in funerary rituals.

Weight 133 g
Dimensions H 11.8 cm



Reference: For similar examples see item 179 and plates 34-35; Catalogue of the Ancient Persian Bronzes in the Ashmolean Museum; P.R.S. Moorey

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