Ziwiyeh, western Iran; Assyrian, 800–700 BC
H. 6.3cm; W. 3.4cm; D. 0.5cm
This small and intricate ivory fragment represents a winged, supernatural spirit carved in the same style as the large reliefs lining the walls of the North West Palace in Nimrud, Mesopotamia. Such figures were usually represented protectively flanking the Assyrian king, Ashurnasirpal II. Most ivory inlays from this period are believed to have adorned furniture or small precious objects, such as boxes.
Closely related to an example in the Louvre, this plaque was formerly in the Guennol Collection and was on long-term loan to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, from 1952 to 2000.