Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pin in the form of a lion

Period:
Iron Age II
Date:
ca. 9th century B.C.
Geography:
Iran, Hasanlu
Culture:
Iran
Medium:
Bronze, iron
Dimensions:
2.28 x 5 in. (5.79 x 12.7 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Ornaments
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mrs. Constantine Sidamon-Eristoff Gift, 1961
Accession Number:
61.100.10
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 404
One of the most characteristic objects from Hasanlu is the so-called lion pin. Over sixty have been excavated at the site, most in Burned Building II, where they are associated—in groups of one, two, or three—with the many skeletons of individuals killed within the building at the time of its destruction. The pin, presumably used to fasten a garment, is a solid bronze reclining lion with the front paws extended and joined at the rear to an iron pin. A bronze chain attached to a loop created by a curve in the tail held the pin securely to the garment. The lion pins found at Hasanlu vary in size and weight as well as in decorative details. This example has a long mane running the length of its back. An upward curling tongue protrudes from its wide gaping mouth, and globular eyes are set on either side of its flattened head.
1960, excavated by Robert H. Dyson Jr. on behalf of the Hasanlu Project sponsored by the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania, the Archaeological Service of Iran, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art; acquired by the Museum in 1961, as a result of its financial contribution to the excavations.
Crawford, Vaughn E. 1961. “Hasanlu 1960.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 20, p. 94, fig. 10.

Crawford, Vaughn E. 1965. “Some Notes from an Excavation.” Apollo 82, p. 216, fig. 9.

Bodenstein, Beatrice E., Vaughn E. Crawford, Prudence O. Harper, Oscar W. Muscarella. 1966. Ancient Near Eastern Art: Guide to the Collections. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 26, fig. 40.

Porada, Edith. 1975. “Iranische Kunst.” Der Alte Orient, Propyläen Kunstgeschichte 14, pp. 393-394, pl. 310c.

Harper, Prudence O. et al. 1984. "Ancient Near Eastern Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 41 (4), Spring 1984, p. 38, fig. 50.

Porter, Barbara A. 1984. Art of the Ancient Near East Permanent Galleries (Handout). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, fig. 7.

Porter, Barbara A. 1986. Art of the Ancient Near East: Permanent galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 12.

Muscarella, Oscar W. 1988. Bronze and Iron: Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 42, no. 42.

Marcus, Michelle I. 1988. The Seals and Sealings from Hasanlu IVB, Iran. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pennnsylvania. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International #8816203, pl. 5c.

Marcus, Michelle I. 1995. “Art and Ideology in Ancient Western Asia.” Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, edited by Jack Sasson, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, p. 2496, fig. 12.

Marcus, Michelle I. 1996. “Emblems of Identity and Prestige: The Seals and Sealings from Hasanlu, Iran.” Hasanlu Special Studies III. University Museum Monograph 84. Philadelphia: The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, pl. 31.

Gunter, Ann C. 2009. Greek Art and the Orient. New York: Cambridge University Press, p. 47, fig. 14.

Rakic, Yelena ed. 2010. Discovering the Art of the Ancient Near East: Archaeological Excavations Supported by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1931–2010. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 68 (1), Summer 2010, p. 36.
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