• Finial in the Form of a Large Griffin's Head with a Stag's Head in its Beak

    Technique:
    carving
    Dimensions:
    h. 35 cm

Finial in the Form of a Large Griffin's Head with a Stag's Head in its Beak

Created: Pazyryk Culture. 5th century BC

Found: Pazyryk Barrow no. 2 (excavations by S.I. Rudenko). Altai Mountains, Pazyryk Boundary, the Valley of the River Bolshoy Ulagan

A tall finial in the form of a large griffin’s head with a stag's head in its beak is complemented by two small griffins digging their claws into the birds. On either side of the large griffin's flat neck are the three-dimensional heads of the small ones set in deep grooves on long dowels, their bodies in flat bas-relief. The same dowel crowns the large finial. This work expresses force powers as embodied in the griffin image, repeated three times as the incantation of death. With the true artistry the master picked out the significant details such as the graceful little head of the stag or its antlers held in the griffin's beak as if it were some great treasure. As a whole, the set of elements, motifs and technical devices is typical of the Altai masters.

Title:

Finial in the Form of a Large Griffin's Head with a Stag's Head in its Beak

Epoch. Period:

Archaeological site:

Pazyryk Barrow no. 2 (excavations by S.I. Rudenko)

Material:

Technique:

carving

Dimensions:

h. 35 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1948; transferred from the institute of the History of Material Culture of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR

Inventory Number:

1684-170

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