Ancient Near East, northwestern Iran, Luristan culture, ca. 1000 to 600 BCE. A charming pendant in the shape of a standing stag, cast from leaded-copper and exhibiting smooth patina in hazy hues of grey, blue, and green. The petite stag supports its elongated body atop four slender legs and has a thick tail draped atop the hind quarters, with an integral suspension loop arching atop the back, and a lengthy neck extending from the shoulders. The triangular head displays characteristic stag features such as a conical snout, bulging eyes, and a slit-form mouth, and from the skull project two enormous antlers with three laterally protruding nodules and a bifurcated upper tip. The stag is a symbol of virility and masculinity, and the yearly antler shedding is symbolic of the annual renewal of the agricultural cycle. Size: 2.5" L x 1.1" W x 2.7" H (6.4 cm x 2.8 cm x 6.9 cm)
For three stylistically similar examples with shorter antlers, please see "The Muse's Song: Selections of Ancient Art." Fortuna Fine Arts, Ltd., New York, 2008, fig. 14.
Another stylistically similar example, with a fawn riding on its back, hammered for GBP 2,390 ($3,128.83) at Christie's, London "A Peaceable Kingdom: The Leo Mildenberg Collection" auction (sale 7017, October 26-27, 2004, lot 373).
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Noah Weber collection, USA, acquired in the 1970s
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Very slight bending to overall form of some legs and antlers, with light encrustations, otherwise intact and excellent. Light earthen deposits and wonderful patina throughout.