Probably Arslan Tash, Syria
Ivory inlaid with glass; H. 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1957 (57.80.12)
A group of ivories that once decorated ancient furniture was said to have been found at Arslan Tash (ancient Hadatu), a Neo-Assyrian military outpost on the Euphrates River. A large eighth-century B.C. building was subsequently excavated there. The ivories are similar to those found at Nimrud in the Assyrian heartland in northern Mesopotamia, some of which were brought there as tribute or booty.
This particular example is carved in Phoenician style, which borrows motifs from Egyptian art and often includes glass inlays like the one on the window here. The motif of a female face peering out of a window is a common one and often has a decorative balustrade or railing composed of Proto-Aeolic colonettes with volute capitalsa type known from monumental architecture in the Levant. The figure wears an Egyptian-style wig and an elaborate ornament with pendants in her hair above her forehead. An actual example of this type of jewelry, made of gold and inlaid with precious stones, was found buried with a royal female figure of the Assyrian court at Nimrud.