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Scaraboid Stamp Seal: Galloping Quadruped

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This scaraboid stamp seal features an image of an unidentifiable animal. Its body is crescent shaped, and this appears to include an upraised head and extended tail. All of its four legs are bent, suggesting a gallop. Its head is long and narrow, and droops at the end. Two protrusions rise from the top of it; they may be ears or horns. A linear device with multiple irregular protrusions is in the field above the animal; it may represent a fish. The mode of carving makes it difficult to attribute this seal to any specific period or location. The linear and angular style bears some resemblance to some of Cypro-Archaic period scaraboid seals excavated on Cyprus (1). A similar fish (if it is indeed a fish) appears on an unprovenanced stamp seal in St. Petersburg, attributed on stylistic grounds to the late fourth century BCE (2). NOTES 1. A. T. Reyes, The Stamp-Seals of Ancient Cyprus (Oxford, 2001) nos. 316, 325. 2. J. Boardman, Greek Gems and Finger Rings: Early Bronze Age to Late Classical (London, 1970) no. 979.
Department of Ancient and Byzantine Art & Numismatics Damon Mezzacappa gift; to the Sackler Museum 1986. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum Gift of Damon Mezzacappa
Title: Scaraboid Stamp Seal: Galloping Quadruped
Description:
This scaraboid stamp seal features an image of an unidentifiable animal.
Its body is crescent shaped, and this appears to include an upraised head and extended tail.
All of its four legs are bent, suggesting a gallop.
Its head is long and narrow, and droops at the end.
Two protrusions rise from the top of it; they may be ears or horns.
A linear device with multiple irregular protrusions is in the field above the animal; it may represent a fish.
The mode of carving makes it difficult to attribute this seal to any specific period or location.
The linear and angular style bears some resemblance to some of Cypro-Archaic period scaraboid seals excavated on Cyprus (1).
A similar fish (if it is indeed a fish) appears on an unprovenanced stamp seal in St.
Petersburg, attributed on stylistic grounds to the late fourth century BCE (2).
NOTES 1.
A.
T.
Reyes, The Stamp-Seals of Ancient Cyprus (Oxford, 2001) nos.
316, 325.
2.
J.
Boardman, Greek Gems and Finger Rings: Early Bronze Age to Late Classical (London, 1970) no.
979.

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