Pendant with Lion and Scorpion

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453

This small pendant was excavated in Nishapur, Iran, and is believed to be a talisman, an object that provides protection for the wearer. On one side are lines of pseudo-inscriptions resembling the Arabic phrase that translates to "There is no god but God." Etched designs on the verso are symbols of the lion and the scorpion, perhaps representing the Zodiac signs of Leo and Scorpio, which in medieval Iran were thought to protect their owners.

Pendant with Lion and Scorpion, Silver; incised

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