2020_NYR_18865_0006_000(a_sarmatian_gold_and_turquoise_lion-griffin_head_applique_circa_3rd-1s093427)

Lot 6. A Sarmatian gold and turquoise lion-griffin head appliqué, circa 3rd-1st century B.C.; 1 ¾ in. (4.4 cm.) longEstimate USD 80,000 - USD 120,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2020.

ProvenanceHaute Curiosité, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 29 May 1963, lot 29.
Djahanguir Riahi (1914-2014), Paris, acquired from the above; thence by descent.
Property from the Collection of Djahanguir Riahi; Antiquities, Sotheby’s, London, 3 July 2018, lot 78.

Note: This appliqué is fabricated from repoussé sheet gold over a bitumen core, the surface embellished throughout with drop-shaped and circular turquoise inlays. The lion-griffin is depicted with an open mouth revealing its teeth, with incised details articulating the backward curving horns. For related Sarmation gold and turquoise works, see fig. 1 in J. Aruz, et al., eds., The Golden Deer of Eurasia: Scythian and Sarmatian Treasures from the Russian Steppes and nos. 133-138 in F. Baumann, et al., Aus den Schatzkammern Eurasiens: Meisterwerke Antiker Kunst.

Christie's. Antiquities, New York, 13 October 2020.