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Lot 26: Hittite Bronze Spearhead with "Duckbill" Shape
27 October 2016
Louisville, CO, USALive Auction
Hittite Empire, modern-day Turkey, ca. 1600 to 1200 BCE. An elegant weapon, a cast bronze spearhead of very flat form, with the "duckbill" design more commonly known from axe heads - the two ovoid openings in the center. A thin, curved tang emerges from the end of the blade; this flows down into a wide, flattened ridge. During the time that this blade was made, Hittite art had begun to depict weapons that appear to be suffused with magical properties or divine powers. Both male and female deities are carved in low relief displaying their attributes, which are almost always a weapon or tool. This is one of the earliest examples we have of weapons being associated with gods, but the idea carried on through different Eastern and European mythologies for centuries. A blade like this one would most likely have been buried in some of the simple, stone-built graves that characterize the deposition of the dead in this time period. Comes with custom, museum-quality stand. Size: 8.2" L x 1.9" W (20.8 cm x 4.8 cm)
Provenance: Ex-Estate of John Piscopo. Mr. Piscopo was one of the largest collectors of ancient weapons in the US with a collection that spanned all cultures, all ages.
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Condition Report: Very tip of blade is missing; otherwise shape is excellent. Slightly encrusted patina