WESTERN ASIATIC NEO-ASSYRIAN CYLINDER SEAL WITH ENLIL THE PROTECTOR OF LIFE 9th-7th century BC
A carnelian cylinder seal with incised image of a profile bearded robed figure with four wings, hands raised to support an opposed pair of ibexes with gryphon-head above and fish bisecting a column of cuneiform text with two theophoric names; supplied with a museum-quality impression. 6.35 grams, 28mm (1").
Condition Very fine condition. Rare.
Provenance Property of a London gentleman; part of his family collection since the 1970s.
Footnotes The inscription has been cut in normal orientation rather than reversed in order to create a normally-orientated impression. The inscription may have been cut partly over an erasure. The text probably contains two divine names, male and female. The male name appears over the presumed alteration and reads ' Enlil [the lord] is the god who preserves life, a four-element name which is very unusual; more usual would be a three-element 'Enlil is the protector of life' based on a common form Enlil-náşir 'Enlil is the protector'. The female name Adad-ilša is not otherwise attested, but the corresponding masculine form Adad-ilšu is found in Old Babylonian texts. This lot is part of a single collection of cylinder seals which were examined in the 1980s by Professor Lambert and most are accompanied by his own detailed notes; the collection has recently been reviewed by Dr. Ronald Bonewitz.