Thursday 7 December 2023

Akkadian Cylinder Seal, c. 2300-2200 BCE

Sold through Live Auctioneers:
Akkadian Cylinder Seal, c. 2300-2200 BCE
Estimate $500-$900,
Dec 02, 2023
Sold for $550

Carved dark green stone, apprx 12.5 x 8 mm. Depicting a contest of two symmetrical pairs; a hero with a buffalo and a hero with a lion.
This seal comes with a museum quality modern impression and is accompanied by a signed hand written note by W. G. Lambert, Professor of Assyriology, University of Birmingham, UK, 1970 - 1993. From the collection of Juliane and Philip Lynch, Shaker Heights, Ohio.
Condition: good, well preserved.
Buyer's Premium 23%
Neue Auctions Beachwood, OH, United States
Note zero provenance cited, zero detail of how it got on the market, zero detail of its collection history - or even the actual date that W. G. Lambert (1926-2011) - based in the UK - saw it and where.  Unlike some auctioneers one could mention, the seller actually shows you what the Lambert note looks like (some don't at all, others only make a token effort: "In a Parallel Universe, Buy A Cylinder Seal from London Dealer, Get a Fuzzy Photo of a 'Lambert Note' for Free" PACHI Friday 19 August 2022).

When I wrote that other post, I recall there were quite a few examples of Lambert notes online, on collectors' sites. They see to have gone, which is a shame. In particular look at the two signatures, the one from the recent sale, the one from the one from the earlier text. Is that the same hand? 

On the right is a photocopy of one of Lambert's surviving notebooks, now online (C. Jones "The Notebooks of W.G. Lambert Online " AWOL blog 25 Dec 2015). 

Since Lambert is being cited all over the market  for antiquities of assorted kinds, it would be helpful to get a decent online archive of his notes, chronologically arranged. 

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