A Mesopotamian terracotta cuneiform cylinder
Lot 132*
A Mesopotamian terracotta cuneiform cylinder
Sold for £264,000 (US$ 443,736) inc. premium
Lot Details
A Mesopotamian terracotta cuneiform cylinder
Babylonian, circa 604–562 B.C.
Of barrel form, hollow with a central hole, inscribed with two columns, each composed of eighteen lines of text, for Nebuchadnezzar II, King of Babylon, recording the restoration of the temple of the sun-god Shamash in Sippur, 5¼in (13.3cm) long


  • Provenance:
    Reputedly from the Dr. Edgar Banks Collection. Dr. Banks was Field Director of the Babylonian Expedition and American Consul to Baghdad in 1937.
    Property from a New England Museum gifted prior to 1990.

    Cylinders of this type were buried in the corners of large buildings by Nebuchadnezzar and his successors to be found and read by future kings whenever the buildings had to be repaired. For a similar cylinder, cf. Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, vol. 82, 2000, nos. 2-3.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that this lot is accompanied by a letter from Dr. Edgar J. Banks dated 29 November 1937 and a description of his collection offered for sale.
Lot symbols
  1. Madeleine Perridge
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