Western to Central Asia, Antatolia through Iran, Seljuk (Seljuq) culture, ca. 12th to 13th Century CE. A hollow cast bronze stag with an ample, bulbous body and an openwork decorated chest and buttocks, perhaps intended for inlay with copper, silver, or gold, or possibly used as an incense burner. Standing on four short legs, its antlers form a basket handle type loop between his ears. Its visage is detailed with a long, straight, human-like nose on top of the snout. Fabulous encrusted blue-green surface patina. Wonderful provenance. Mounted on old wooden base. Size: stag itself measures 3.625" L x 1.625" W x 3.625" H (9.2 cm x 4.1 cm x 9.2 cm)
The Sejuks were a Turk dynasty of Central Asia with nomadic origins who, in addition to their military reign, were artistic innovators known for their impressive metalwork, the art of elaborate inlay, and objects decorated with inscriptions of animated script in which artisans transformed letters into animal and human figures.
Provenance: Ex-Arthur M. Sackler collection, acquired about 1970, accession # UA375. Old Sotheby, Parke-Bernet auction label affixed, lot #366.
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