Luristan Bronze "Master of Animals" Standard Finial
An ancient Luristan bronze standard finial in the form of a 'Master of Animals' figure. The central shaft terminates in the upper body of a man, who grasps the necks of the flanking felines.
Ca. 1500 - 800 BC.
Luristan objects, including impressive and numerous decorative bronze horse trappings and weapons, are found mainly in western Persia. Luristan artifacts are most likely the work of the ancient Medes, an Indo-European group that eventually dominated Persia. These ceremonial standards with elaborate finials must have played a significant role in the religious culture of the region, and several examples have been excavated from burials.
Cf. Metropolitan Museum of Art inv. no. 30.97.5 and the Walters Art Museum inv. no. 54.115 (there without the central male head).
Formerly in the Estate of William Kelly Simpson.