Greece, ca. late 6th to 4th century BCE. A detailed, delicate bronze applique, cast in the form of a griffin (gryphon). The animal is shown stepping forward, one leg raised, with its powerful haunches clearly defined. The body is stamped with light concentric circles, often thought to be a ward against the evil eye. The undecorated and slightly concave back of the piece has a tiny hook for it to be sewn onto clothing. The griffin, half eagle and half lion, was a fierce symbol of divine power. The tradition was long lasting; we know of examples from ancient Iran and Egypt that are from ca. 3000 BCE, and the animal continued to appear in classically-inspired art into the early modern period. Size: 1.75" W x 1.6" H (4.4 cm x 4.1 cm)
Provenance: private Orange County, California, USA collection acquired before 2000
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