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Pin with Horses, ca. 800 B.C.E

Maker: Unknown Maker, Luristan

Medium: Bronze

1 7/8 × 9 7/8 × 1 in. (4.8 × 25.1 × 2.5 cm)

Credit Line: Clarence Day Foundation Collection

Object Number: LI.90.43

On View

Around 1930, bronze objects from the Ancient Near East started to appear in Euopean art markets. These included chariot decorations, harness fittings, and animal pins such as this one. Collectors loved the inventive, stylized forms of horses, sheep, and goats. Scholars eventually traced these objects to Luristan, a province set within the rugged Zargos Mountains between Iraq and Iran. Small bronzes like this pin are light and easily transportable, and were likely the work of nomadic peoples who traveled with large flocks of sheep and goats. Given the costliness of the bronze and the fine craftsmanship of the ppiece itself, the pin was probably worn as a mark of high status.