Classics and Archaeology Virtual Museum

Luristan Bronzes

A set of Luristan bronzes was known to be in the Middle Eastern Collection.

A conservation report by Willem Snoek dated 27 April 1993 contains detailed conservation suggestions for fourteen bronzes, all said to be from Luristan. A form letter by Dr Bunnens, in the same folder but undated, refers to fourteen "early bronze age artistic and domestic artifacts" from Luristan. Unfortunately, the description of the objects is minimal, and the 'accession no.' included with each item runs from 1-14 and does not cross-reference with any other numbering system.

The database contained 23 Middle Eastern bronzes about which little or nothing else is known. Ten of these were in a box returned from the Ian Potter Art Conservation Centre in 1998. Below is an attempt to match the descriptions of the objects in the database with the descriptions in the conservation report. The match-up is fairly convincing.

It was tempting to identify the left-over Arrow head from the conservation report with the first Arrow head in A Box 2. But accession no. 0000.0401 is the only one missing from the series. In the database, the corresponding object is indeed an arrow head, but had been described as iron rather than bronze when the objects were accessioned four months after the conservation report was written.

On this basis, the word "Luristan" has been added to the database entries for the first fourteen items, and the arrow head changed from iron to bronze (no mention of iron is made in the conservation report).

Postscript: Polaroid photographs of the objects were eventually found in some old files. The photographs are marked on the back with both accession numbers and conservation report numbers, confirming the match-up.

Dr Bunnen's letter was intended to be sent to an enclosed list of potential sponsors who might support the conservation of the 14 bronzes (the estimate was $1560). It seems that nothing happened. In the conservation report, the condition of the Drinking vessel was described as "poor". As can be seen from this photograph taken late in 1998, its current condition is lamentable.

Database

Conservation

Accession no.

Concave-sided cylinder

Drinking vessel

0000.0000

Handle

Vessel lug

0000.0393

Bowl

Bowl

0000.0394

Hemispherical bowl

Bowl

0000.0395

Animal (tiger/dog?)

Animal

0000.0396

Animal (ibex/antelope)

Gazelle

0000.0397

Animal (ibex/antelope)

Gazelle

0000.0398

Animal (ibex/antelope)

Gazelle

0000.0399

Arrow head

Arrow head

0000.0400

Spear head

Spear head

0000.0402

Adze

Adze

0000.0404

Bowl

Bowl

0000.0405

Bowl

Bowl

0000.0406

Arrow head

=0000.0401 "iron"

Arrow head

A Box 2

0000.0386

Pin

A Box 2

0000.0387

Pin

A Box 2

0000.0388

Spear head

A Box 2

0000.0389

Spear head

A Box 2

0000.0390

Stamp

A Box 2

0000.0391

Lamp

A Box 2

0000.0392

Arrow head

A Box 2

1968.0058

Arrow head

A Box 2

1968.0059

Arrow head

A Box 2

1968.0060

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