Leaping ibexes flanking bird of prey

between 3100 B.C. and 2600 B.C.
greyish steatite
31.5 x 25 mm
Morgan Seal 49
Acquired by Pierpont Morgan sometime between 1885 and 1908.

"The four-lobed flower appearing in the arc of the horns of the large kneeling ibex is a design found most frequently in seal impressions of the First Early Dynastic period from Ur. In one of these impressions the kneeling ibexes are similar to that of 49; in another, an eagle is hovering over two ruminants as in 49, and in a third the scheme of two rampant animals flanking a kneeling one between them recalls the composition of 49." Porada, CANES, p. 8


Two leaping ibexes, one at either side of bird of prey hovering over smaller, kneeling ibex -- Under legs of leaping ibex at left, second small kneeling ibex -- Under legs of ibex at right, large kneeling ibex with four-lobed flower below curve of its horns.

Southern Mesopotamia.