A large Neo Assyrian Star of Ishtar Gold Pendant, ca. 911 - 609 BCE
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Ancient luxuries were precious, pleasurable, and opulent items – widely coveted and used to show power and status. This superb plaque of high-karat gold is such an example. It was manufactured by cutting out the circular form from sheet gold and punching the design using a mold. The central design is a fine nine-ray star, one central boss with a ring around it, nine bosses between each ray in repousse, and a border of small punched dots imitating granulation encircles the periphery. Such stars represent the great goddess of the heavens, Ishtar/Ashar. Ishtar was associated with the planet Venus and her most prominent symbols included the lion and the star so necklaces with such symbols probably served as both jewelry and talismans. Aside from its superb aesthetic appeal, this plaque was most probably worn to invoke the protection of the goddess.
Dimensions: Pendant diameter: 1 7/8 inches (4,76 cm)
Condition: One edge with a minor tear, overall intact and in good condition.
Provenance: Private New York collection, acquired from the US trade in the 1960s - 1980s, then by descent.