YOU ARE HERE:>>REAL or FAKE>Fake cylinder seals , section 4, page 2


 Someone asked me about a seal.

You saw my comment about the other one, but  what do you think of this one ?

And this one?

Notice something interesting?

Though Kassite and Mittanian cyinder seals are of similar dating they are broadly speaking easily distinguished from one another.


And this similar motif.......

The leaping stag with raised  hindquarters is known on Assyrian seals.

This one is in the Pierpont Morgan collection.


These seals are variously described as Sumerian, Akkadian, Cypriot, Early Dynastic, Middle Assyrian, New Assyrian, Persian, Achaemenian, Mittanian, Kassite and Old Babylonian.

What is also troubling are the references.

This one gives the refernce ' Porada 812-829'


Must be from either:


Corpus of Ancient Near Eastern Seals in North American Collections: The Collection of the Pierpont Morgan Library. The Bollingen Series 14 (2 vols.). Washington, D.C. Porada, Edith, ed., 1948.


'Mesopotamian art in cylinder seals of the Pierpont Morgan Library' Porada, Edith, ed., 1948.   1947

But not  likely as this is a much briefer work which preceded the full two volume work.


Seal number 812 in the Morgan collection is actually quite well known.

But it is Neo-Elamite.


Looking in the book at Nos 812-829:

Nos 812 -814 show the hunting of a mouflon (not a horse!)

And the others mentioned in the reference (812  - 829) are absolutely nothing like this seal.

The actual  inspiration for this fake seal?

Another with a reference:

Here it is: 'Porada p. 129, 965'


Apart from a winged figure and the ankh motif there is no real close similarity.

It is not quite as obviously wrong as those above but it is unusual enough to be doubtful.

The imprint below of the seal with the inscription is the Porada reference seal.

Worth documenting a few more I think. 

Some pairs  by the same hand.

Very implausible fakes indeed.

The auction sale catalogues of some important cylinder seal collections which were curated with a high level of expertise are quite useful resources.


Such as the Sotheby's sales in '92 and '97 of the Erlenmeyer collection,  and the Ada Small Moore collection in '91. Also the Christie's sales in '93  and 2001 of the McLenden and Surena collections.


However not all auction house have the same level of expertise!

This auction house has, I'm told, a good reputation and these many unfortunate errors are no doubt just that, innocent errors. The person who drew my attention to these has informed the auction house and.....


...after a week or two.....without a word of thanks to the collector who alerted them and helped them not make fools of themselves.


Easy to find such poorly made 'reproductions' (which they are not really, but pure invention) elsewhere for not much money.

Easy to find fake cylinder seals on eBay.