Luristan Bronze "Master of Animals" Standard Finial
An ancient Luristan bronze standard finial in the form of a 'Master of Animals' figure. An especially elaborate janiform example, the central shaft is in the form of a stylized torso with hands on hips, a head with large eyes and nose emerges between two avian heads, above which a helmeted figure with prominent eyes and nose extends wearing a broad belt and v-shaped collar. He grasps the necks of the flanking felines, their mouths agape.
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 collection of Theodor "Teddy" Kollek (1911 - 2007), Mayor of Jerusalem; Sotheby's, London, Property form the Private Collection of Mr. Teddy Kollek, Mayor of Jerusalem, July 10, 1992, lot 437;subsequently, M. D. collection, Ohio.