Near East, Sassanian Empire, ca. 500 CE. This is a nice polished piece of dark brown, almost reddish agate with the base incised with a lifelike scorpion design. It has been pierced for suspension and would have been used as a stamp for a seal. This is quite a unique piece, recalling a prominent and influential kingdom that had great influence throughout the Old World after the fall of Rome. Seals bearing animal designs -- scorpions like this one, birds, stags, and lagomorphs are all known -- are one of their most enduring symbols. Size: 0.8" W x 0.55" H (2 cm x 1.4 cm)
Provenance: Ex-Howard Nowes Private Collection; Purchased in London in the 1980's.
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