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    Beautiful Ceremonial Silver Axe Head

    CANAANITE. Middle Bronze Age, circa 2000-1550 BC. Votive or ceremonial silver fenestrated 'duck bill' axe head. A tapering beak-shaped blade 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) in length and 1.6 inches (4.1 cm) wide, with two oval piercings and a socketed section originally hafted to the handle, the blade decorated with a central raised line branching into four chevrons toward the rounded tip. Intact, the silver surfaces smooth and solid, with small areas of light cuprite deposit and oxidation, the interior of the socket showing some deposits and crystallization. See British Museum Collection, item no. 126978, acquired in Beirut, 1937 for the general form in bronze (also following lot); for a silver votive fenestrated axe head, see National Beirut Museum catalog, pl. 10-12, a group of ceremonial weapons found at Byblus. With custom stand.

    From The Barakat Biblical Collection, acquired and imported prior to 1982; originally found in northern Israel.

    This form of axe head was widely used by warriors of the Middle Bronze Age in the ancient Near East, particularly Phoenicia and Canaan. This remarkable silver example was surely a ceremonial weapon, or a votive offering to the gods, used by a regional ruler or warlord of some considerable means. A cache of similar silver (and gold) axe heads dating to the same era was excavated from site of the the Phoenician city of Byblus in the 1960s, which are now housed in the National Museum of Lebanon in Beirut.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2016
    16th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,760

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