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Rare Mediterranean Islamic Bronze Lion

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Pre 1492: Item # 1066189

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Rare Mediterranean Islamic Bronze Lion
A magnificent, very rare South Italian Islamic bronze lion, dating to approximately 1100 AD. The powerfully modeled lion is shown standing four-square, his ears perked up and his elaborate tail erect, curving into a figure of eight. He is shown upward-gazing, with thick incised mane. He has a prominent brow and nasal ridge, his nostrils and mouth schematically rendered. Lions of this type are very rare and are believed to represent the fusion of Islamic, Byzantine and Western Artistic traditions, all brought together in the 11th-12th Century Norman territories of Southern Italy. A larger lion of very similar form can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (L.2000.84) and another example, in the form of a fountain, was recently auctioned at Sothebys New York. Length of lion: 2 1/2 inches. Height, mounted: 2 5/8 inches. Provenance: Purchased by the previous collector at Christies London, December 1990.

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