Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
0 selections
Log In
0 selections
lots of lots
Lot 0089D
Ancient Near East, Sumerian, ca. 2100 BCE. A beautiful terracotta foundation cone with roughly three-quarters of its conical body wrapped in dense cuneiform text. A narrow tip gradually widens to a thick base, with a wide discoid shape on the opposite end. Clay nails like this are also referred to as dedication pegs or funerary pegs as they were typically inscribed with prayers or dedicatory statements to a specific god or ruler. Here, the translation states that this foundation cone is for Gudea, ruler of Lagash, dedicated to a female deity named Nindara. Other examples sometimes included stories or boasts about the rulers they describe, and are some of our earliest sources of written royal history. Size: 2.75" W x 5.25" H (7 cm x 13.3 cm).

Provenance: private Davis collection, Houston, Texas, USA; ex-Bonhams London Antiquities Auction, 8 May, 2013, part of lot 149; ex-Joseph Klein collection, formed in New York, New York, USA between 1941 and 1980, thence by descent

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.



Small losses to cone tip and discoid periphery. Age-commensurate surface wear as expected, fading to some impressed text, with some surface roughness, otherwise very good. Light earthen deposits throughout.

Starting Bid


Buyer's Premium

  • 24.5%

Sumerian Cuneiform Foundation Cone, ex-Bonhams

Estimate $1,200 - $1,800May 10, 2018
686 S. Taylor Avenue Suite 106
Louisville, CO 80027
United States
Ask a Question|