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Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 113, Neolithic and Bronze Age Greece
Crete, Greece (Place Created)
Ivory or bone
2.8 × 1 × 1.5 cm (1 1/8 × 3/8 × 9/16 in.)
This seal is carved in the form of a crouching monkey. A roughly oval base is engraved with cross-hatching. Minoan craftsmen carved seals from stone, ivory, and other precious materials. When pressed into soft clay or wax, the engraved seals produced relief images. Such impressions were employed as signatures on documents, and to seal pots and other containers as a way to guarantee or label their contents. Simple designs decorated the earliest seals, while later examples show detailed pictorial compositions. Although stones found locally, such as hematite, carnelian, steatite, agate, and jasper were commonly used, seals were also produced from exotic materials, such as amethyst, lapis lazuli, and hippopotamus ivory.
by 1980 -
The Erlenmeyer Stiftung, Founded 1981 (Basel, Switzerland) [sold, The Erlenmeyer Collection of Cretan Seals, Christie's, London, June 5, 1989, lot 19, to Robin Symes.]
1989 - 2001
Robin Symes, Limited, Founded 1977, dissolved 2005 (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001.
Betts, John H. Corpus der Minoischen und Mykenischen Siegel. Band X: Die Schweizer Sammlungen. (Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1980), p. 72, no. 31.
Christie's, London. Sale cat., The Erlenmeyer Collection of Cretan Seals. June 5, 1989, lot 19.