Ancient Central Asia, Bactrian, ca. 1st millennium BCE. A wonderful cast-bronze warrior figure with a stiff frontal pose standing on an irregularly-shaped base. Both arms are bent at the elbow, the right hand grasping an impressive curved dagger and the left a small circular shield; both sword and shield were cast separately and then later applied. An ovoid head exhibits thick, incised eyebrows, an aquiline nose, ovoid eyes, a curling moustache, full lips, and pierced ears which likely held additional ornamentation. A loincloth-like garment wraps between his legs and covers his genitalia, and a coiled turban rests atop his head. Lustrous areas of dark-green and dark-brown patina shroud the entire figure. Custom museum-quality display stand included. Size: 1.5" W x 4.375" H (3.8 cm x 11.1 cm); 4.625" H (11.7 cm) on included custom stand.
Originating as part of the Bactrian-Margiana Archaeological Complex (BMAC, also referred to as the "Oxus civilization") around the 2nd-millennium BCE, Bactrian culture was heavily involved in establishing trade routes and maintaining their civilization by engaging in commerce with other cultures. Warriors and warfare were common motifs among Bactrian works of art, and their establishment in the early Bronze Age suggests they were crafting countless types of bronze weaponry, armor, and battle-related votive items. Figurines like this example were probably meant as such a votive object, perhaps to be placed at a temple or sacred altar, or possibly as a funerary offering to a deceased soldier in the Bactrian military.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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Surface wear and abrasions commensurate with age as expected, losses to areas of base, minor nicks to head, body, and base, and fading to some facial features, otherwise excellent. Nice earthen deposits as well as lustrous green and brown patina throughout.