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The ox-headed mace is associated with the heroes of the Shahnama (Book of Kings), the poet Firdausi’s epic of pre-Islamic Iran completed in 1010 CE. The mace reproduces the hero Bahram Gur’s weapon made in memory of the cow that nursed him. An emblem of power and good, it was inherited by other heroes in the epic, notably Feridun and Rustam. This example is representative of the Qajar revival of ancient Iranian imagery. It bears the false signature of a legendary smith, Haji 'Abbas, and the equally spurious date A.H. 951 (1544–45 CE).

Mace, Steel, gold, Iranian

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