Lot 46
  • 46

A Persian Gold Belt Fragment, Ziwiye , circa 7th Century B.C.

40,000 - 60,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • A Persian Gold Belt Fragment, Ziwiye 
  • Gold
  • 3 by 2 3/4 in. 7.6 by 7 cm.
repoussé in relief and finely chased with Scythian stags and couchant ibexes within borders of volutes linked by feline heads, holes for attachment below. 


Ernest Erickson (1893-1983), New York, probably acquired in the 1950s/1960s
The Ernest Erickson Foundation (Sotheby's, New York, December 12th-13th, 1991, no. 169, illus.)

Catalogue Note

The present fragment originally belonged to a belt of which several other fragments survive in various public and private collections. They were found in 1947 as part of a hoard of gold, silver, bronze, ivory, stone and pottery objects in a bronze coffin that had been buried below the ruins of a wall in an ancient citadel near the village of Ziwiye, about 55 kilometers southeast of Saqqiz in Kurdistan province in northwestern Iran (Alireza Hejebri Nobari, Zahra Kouzegari, Seyed Mehdi Mousavi, Kamaleddin Niknami, "A Chronological Overview of Some Ziwiye Belts," Sociology and Anthropology, vol. 3(3), 2015, p. 186).

The belt from which the present fragment derives is one of four belts found at Ziwiye. It was painstakingly reconstructed from many fragments in a line drawing by Paul Amandry, "A propos du trésor de Ziwiye," Iranica Antica, vol. VI, 1966, fig. 4 (repr. on p. 190, fig. 4, in the aforementioned article: http://www.hrpub.org/download/20150301/SA6-19603284.pdf).

About ten fragments from this belt have been identified, including one in the British Museum, inv. no. 1960,0514.1 (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=367637&partId=1&searchText=1960,0514.1&page=1), acquired from Eli Borowski in 1960 and another in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. no. 50.196a,b (http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/324108), acquired in 1950 from Nasli Heeramaneck: New York. Several other fragments are in private collections. One was most recently offered at auction at Christie's, London, October 25th, 2012, no. 149; it was acquired for the Thétis Collection in Geneva prior to 1970.

Two other objects from the Ziwiye treasure were donated to The Metropolitan Museum by the Ernest Erickson Foundation in 1988 (inv. nos. 1988.102.39-40). 

Please note that an OFAC license may be required to export objects of Iranian origin from the United States.