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Mesopotamian Head of a Nobleman, 2nd millennium B.C

Conservation:  Good condition
Material:  Stone
Dimensions:  1.5 kg total, 18 cm high including stand
Provenance:  French collection, 1990s-early 2000s. with Mirabaud Mercier Auction, Paris, France. From an important Paris gallery, France. Ex private Parisian collection; Acquired at auction, UK, November, 2022


On request
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A composition head depicting a nobleman with stylised features, with almond-shaped eyes beneath heavy brows, straight nose and thin lips, a pierced ornament in one ear, scalloped hairline.

The praying statues are characterised by their shaved heads, as they were assimilated to priests, and normally wore long skirts with fringes, which were probably made of wool, and were in a praying position with their hands folded on their chests.
It was common for votive statues to be made of relatives or claimants of divine favours, since the pantheon of Mesopotamian gods was so powerful that the people turned to them for mercy and protection.

Similar items

Comparable examples of this male head can be found in various museums around the world:

Fig. 1 Neo-sumerian diorite man with shaven head, 2250 – -2000 BC. Louvre Museum (France). Accession number AO 4351

Fig. 2 Neo-Sumerian diorite head of Gudea, King of Lagash (circa 2100-2090 BC). The MET museum (USA), Accession number 49.26

Fig. 3 Mesopotamian Limestone head of a statue of a man, reign of Gudea, 2144-2124 BCE. Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin (Germany).

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