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Near Eastern Black Steatite Spindle Whorl with Figures

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Near Eastern: Stone: Pre AD 1000: Item # 968903
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290 Fillmore St. #D
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This charming piece is a black steatite spindal whorl that was used for weaving textiles. This pieces dates circa 3100-2600 B.C. and is likely Anatolian or Syrian, as the four figures seen on this piece are analogous to the figures seen on carved cylinder seals for the period and region. (See Sotheby's Antiquities, London, "Western Asiatic Cylinder seals and Antiquities from the Erlenmeyer Collection, Part 1", July 1992, no. 31-33.) Black steatite is very difficult to carve, as it is a very hard stone, and this adds to the rarity of this piece. In addition, this type of stone comes mostly from the Near Middle East region, and cylinder seals, rather than spindle whorls, are much more common. This piece is approximately 1.25 inches in diameter, by .5 inches high. This piece is conical in shape, has a hole bow drilled through the center, and has four separate registers with a figure within. Two of the figures seen in profile may be images of a deer, and a dog or a wolf. The other two images may be seen from the top, and may represent the same animals, but if seen in profile, they are very anthropomorphic, and its also possible that both views were meant to be portrayed. This piece has very minute root marking and striations that are seen on the entire piece which is a good sign of authenticity, in addition, there are mineral deposits seen in many of the low relief points. This piece is scarce to rare, and is in superb condition for the type. A custom stand is included. Ex: Private French collection. Ex: David Leibert collection, New York., circa 1990's. (Note: Additional documentation is available for the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: