Luristan Bronze "Mistress of Animals"
An ancient Luristan bronze standard finial in the form of a 'Mistress of Animals' figure. It features a stylized chest with birds as shoulders above which a helmeted figure displays prominent eyes and nose, with jewelry around its neck.
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 St. Louis, Missouri private collection, acquired in 1964; previously with Norik Balassan in Chicago, Illinois.