About this object

The exact purpose of this object remains a little bit of a mystery. It is unique to the Luristan region, a mountainous area in western Iran just east of Mesopotamia. Thousands of decorative bronze artefacts were buried in cemeteries and religious sanctuaries. However, none have been found in an undisturbed archaeological context which makes interpretation of what they were used for uncertain. They may have been used as protective devices within religious rituals. At the base of the object is a hollow socket designed to be fixed at the top of a pole or other vertical support (which is why they are often called finials or standards). The object is shaped in the form of a figure wrestling a pair of stylised felines with smaller felines on their backs (an image often called ‘master-of-animals’ iconography).

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Iron Age
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Asia: Western Asia: Iran: Luristan
  • Date made
    1000 BC - 600 BC about
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from A. Nazar
  • Collector
  • Place collected
    Asia: Western Asia: Iran: Luristan
  • Date collected
    1935 before
  • Measurements
    177 mm x 72 mm x 25 mm
  • Note
    It was purchased in 1935 on the London art market from Mr A. Nazar.
  • Related people
    A Nazar ( Previous owner)


Previous owners

  • A Nazar

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1935
    Disposal method: Purchased
Object view = Humanities
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