Head of a lioness



Ivory plaque with flat back, very deep relief carved in outline of a feline head, probably a lioness, with slightly open mouth. Carefully carved, high relief of a round feline face, probably originally an appliqué for furniture or a coffer. It has a slightly open mouth, wrinkled muzzle, broad nose, wide cheeks and frowning forehead, shaprly pointed upstanding ears with curls of fur below them, and small round eyes with corners extended by think lines. Tiny drill holes form the pupils of the eyes. The back surface now has a think modern hole once made for mounting; there is also a large, roughly broken copper wire or dowel set into the back. The grain of the ivory is beginning to separate, and there are also chips missing from both ears, fangs and whiskers.