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Inlaid gold figure of a cheetah

Inlaid gold figure of a cheetah

Uruk or Early Dynastic, 3300 BC - 2200 BC

Height: 2 cm; length: 3.4 cm

Provenance: Antiquities Part II, Christie's, London, 10 and 11 July 1974, lot 361; Private Collection, UK, 1970-90s; property of a private foundation


Although formerly thought to be a leopard,  this cat has now been identified as a cheetah, with the distinct narrow waist and profile of a runner. This magnificent pendant would have signalled the status of its owner and reflected the fascination in the exotic and mysterious world of the East and Africa shared by Near Eastern cultures at that time.

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