**Originally Listed At $1700**
Western Asia, Scythian culture, ca. mid 1st millennium BCE. A gorgeous hair or possibly cloak pin with a pointed cylindrical iron pin, topped by a flat, openwork 15 karat gold finial in the form of a stag with large horns that curl back from the body, resting on its lower back. The animal's head and especially the eyes are large relative to the body, which stands on its hooves on the point of the pin. The stag is one of the most popular Scythian motifs, and was often immortalized by their artisans in gold - see, for example, the enormous gold stag held by the Hermitage Museum, found lying on an iron shield, presumably as a decorative applique, in the Krasnodar region of Russia on the northeast border of the Black Sea. Comes with custom stand. Size: 1.55" W x 6.7" H (3.9 cm x 17 cm); height on stand: 6.8" (17 cm)
The meaning of stag iconography is unknown, but the cycle of the animal losing its antlers annually leads researchers to believe that ancient people associated it with agricultural renewal. The branching antlers, so closely resembling growing plants, may also have inspired symbolic thoughts of male virility.
The Scythians are famous for their goldwork, and rightly so; hoards of their treasures have been found throughout eastern and central Europe and western and central Asia. These hoards may represent gifts that were made to foreign rulers, votive offerings, or treasures buried and forgotten. Other gold artifacts from this culture are found in their incredibly rich graves - according to Scythian tradition, warriors (both male and female) were buried alongside their servants and horses, with weapons, harnesses, and personal adornments.
Provenance: private Bangkok, Thailand collection
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