**Originally Listed At $200**
Eastern Europe/Central Asia, Russia, Perm region, Perm Animal Style (Permian Animal Style) (Proto-Viking), ca. 8th to 9th centuries CE. A short-handled white bronze (a copper alloy with a high percentage of tin) spoon with an oval scoop and rectangular curved handle. At the end of the handle is a large punched-out oval, presumably for hanging up the spoon in a house or hanging it off a belt when traveling. The handle is decorated with an animal's head - probably a fox or wolf, but maybe a bear. The head is depicted from the front, confronting the viewer, with ears, eyes, and nose emphasized. Twisted grooves, like a rope design, run down either side of the handle. The back of the spoon has a slight vertical indentation. Size: 1.25" W x 3.4" H (3.2 cm x 8.6 cm)
This piece looks very similar to several found in a particular burial complex/cemetery near the village of Pleso; they also look much like some found on the bank of the river More-yu in the tundra at a location known as a "sacred place". The similarities between all these artifacts may indicate that they were made by a single workshop. The spoon is a fascinating cultural object, often a prized personal item at a time when the average person owned very little; spoons made of precious metal were so highly valued that they were often listed in inventories of royal or noble households. The animal decoration perhaps had personal significance to this spoon's owner. There are clear signs of use - with the wear to the handle - but the item was probably ultimately buried with its final owner.
Provenance: private Orange County, California, USA collection
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