A tiny Sasanian Dome Seal of a Scorpion, ca. 3rd - 7th century CE
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Hand-carved from agate, the perfectly rounded form with a flat face featuring a scorpion in right profile with a raised tail and extended pincers, pierced longitudinally for attachment.
Almost all scorpions have been interpreted in a benevolent context in Sasanian seals. When paired with a profile bust or personal device it shows good fortune. It also appears with other animals, plants, and objects of nature, indicating scorpions functioned as "auspicious earth symbols," rather than a malevolent or evil symbol that we associate with today.
Ref: Brunner, Christopher J., Sasanian Stamp Seals in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1978), p 113, nos. 86, 217.
Dimensions: Length: 1 cm (0.39 inches)
Condition: Intact and in very condition overall.
Provenance: Alex Malloy collection, acquired in the 1980s.