Spade and stylus on altar

between 600 and 400 B.C.
blue chalcedony
21.5 x 15.5 x 12.5 mm
Morgan Seal 799
Acquired by Pierpont Morgan sometime between 1885 and 1908.

"...795-811 have been classed as Neo-Babylonian, because many seal impressions of corresponding style and subject have been found on Neo-Babylonian tablets of the sixth and fifth centuries B.C. In these impressions a relatively uniform style perists, though the dates of most of the tablets reach well into Persian times (for example, Philadelphia 965-969), and Persian seal impressions also appear on them... A large number of Neo-Babylonian stamps executed with careful modeling present a subject found also in the ritual scenes of modeled-style cylinders of the sixth and fifth centuries B.C., namely, a worshiper standing before symbols (795a, 796-798)... The symbols most often used are the stylus of Nabu and the spade of Marduk... Cuneiform inscriptions sometimes occur, as on one side of 795 and in 799."--Porada, CANES, p. 96-98
Conical seal with rounded top and oval base.


Spade and stylus on altar, inscription.