Squatting Lion

quaternary alloy, cast and engraved

13cm (height)

The body of the lion has been ingeniously compressed to include merely the protome and the rump, and though lions do not squat this conveys a very lively impression. The legs have jewelled anklets and the neck an engraved chain or fillet reminiscent of a leash. The slit and the flat projection in the beast’s back indicate that it was a support from some horizontal object, such as a large tray.

J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.102, p.95.