Horse bit from Luristan
Luristan horse bit with figural cheek pieces
8th century BC.
Iron Age III of Luristan.
The bronze horse bit is made of a straight square profile rod with curled ends. Sliding cheek pieces are mounted on the bit. They have the shape of a V with a circular, reinforced hole at the apex through which the bit runs. The two ends of each V are modeled as animal heads.
The nomadic people of Luristan were masterly horse breeders. No wonder that many beautiful horse harnesses were casted when bronze artworking was thriving in Western Iran. This bit was part of such a horse harness. The rein was attached to the curled ends and the cheek pieces made a fine decoration when the horse was biting the rod. This can be seen in a detail of the Lachish reliefs which were made in neighbouring Assyria almost at the same time as this horse bit (cf. drawing in Peltenburg, Western Asiatic Antiquities, after Porada 1965, 85, plate 21 bottom).
The rod is 18.5cm long. The cheek pieces are 9cm long and 8cm high.
Near perfect condition. One curled end of the rod restored, otherwise the artefact is intact. Colourful strong patina.
Acquired by us on the art market in 2020. Previously in the French private collection of Dr. F. Hery. Acquired into the collection between 1970 and March 1978.
Similar G. Zahlhaas, Luristan - Antike Bronzen aus dem Iran, p. 53f, no. 101.
Similar E. Peltenburg, Western Asiatic Antiquities, p. 101, no. 72.
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