Worshiper before stylus and spade

between 600 and 400 B.C.
blue chalcedony
25 x 21 x 12.5 mm
Morgan Seal 806
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 ... The principal subject of the modeled-style stamps--a worshiper before an altar supporting symbols--is also rendered in a coarse drilled technique (804-809). As in modeled-style stamps, the symbols used include the lamp on its characteristic stand (804), and, most frequently, the spade and stylus, usually placed on an altar (804-808) ... The only seal of this group that bears engraving on the side of the cone is 806, which shows a winged bull walking. ... The base of this seal may have been recut, since the head of the worshiper is far more clearly defined than is usual in this style, while the only implication of an altar is a horizontal line drawn through the symbols."--Porada, CANES, p. 96, 99
Pyramidal seal with rounded top and slightly convex octagonal base.


Base: worshiper before stylus and spade - Side: winged bull walking.