ANCIENT SEAL BEADS

Most seals are beads as seen on the above picture with at least one flat, engraved side.
It produces a mirror image after first being pressed into sealing wax or clay or inked and then put on paper. The purpose was to signify the owner. The mere ownership of a seal indicated a high social position in society. Seals were used up to the early 19th century.


Royal Lion Seal
 


The beads
are
for sale



 



SB 1 -
18 * 18 * 17 mm
Click on pictures for larger version


Lion seal from the Persian Achaemenid Empire 550-330 BC


The amazing seal displayed above was together with all the seals you see here, sourced from Afghanistan. However all the seals belong to Persia. The lion on the seal is in the same position as the Achaemenid Golden Lion portrayed in the middle. This seal and the many others below shows the dominance of the Persians in the area.
As far back as in ancient Mesopotamia the Lion was a symbol of Kingship. Only the King or his administration was allowed to use the lion as a seal. The lion was a royal animal. Only the Kings or the Noble men around him were allowed to keep or hunt lions.
The Achaemenid culture from which this seal most probably is kept this custom.

Below you see what most probably is related to the standard of Cyrus the Great.
 
 


            
Not for sale

Click on above pictures for larger versions


 

 

Afghanistan was a already from the days of Cyrus a cultural melting pot. Below you can see the influence from India. The swastika in the jasper seal could both refer to Buddhism and Hinduism.

 
 


      
SB 2 - 20 * 18 * 15 mm
Click on pictures for larger version
 



 
 


    
Not for sale
Click on pictures for larger version

 

 

A strange seven spoked wheel seal
 
 



     
SB 3 - 33 * 13 * 5 mm
 



SASSANIAN SEAL BEADS
The rest of the seals displayed here are from
the Sasanian Iranian culture, AD 224-642, though they were all sourced in Afghanistan. This was the last Iranian empire before the arrival of Islam.



Royal Lion Seal Bead
 
 

 
 
SB 4 - 15 * 12 * 9,5 mm
 

 
SB 5 - 17 * 14 * 11 mm
 



The Gayomard Seal Bead

In Sasanian Iran, AD 224-642, every free man was obliged to wear a stamp seal. These stamp seals were often depicting astrological symbols. The seal displayed above shows the constellation Orion with Sirius, also called the Dog Star.
 
 


      
SB 6 - 22,5 * 21 * 16 mm
Click on pictures for larger version
 



In the ancient Zorastrian mythology,  the first mortal human ancestor is called Gayomard. After  Gayamard was killed he was guided over the Bridge of Separation by the light of Sirius who was no other than his faithful dog, Yellow Ears. Since Gayomard escorts the dead to the underworld.
 
 


 


SB 7 - 
17 * 13 mm



 

 


 

 


  
SB 8 -  11 * 9 * 9 mm
 


  
SB 9  -  15 * 13 * 7 mm
 



Sassanian Warrior head Seals
 
 


   
SB 10 - 14 * 12 mm
 


   
SB 11 - 15 * 13 * 12 mm
 



 
 

   
SB 12 -  14,5 * 12 * 11 mm


   
SB 13  -  16,5 * 14 * 8,5 mm
 



 
 


   
SB 14 - 17 * 14 * 10 mm
 



Sassanian Scorpion seal Beads
 

 


   
SB 15 - 22 * 19 * 16 mm
 



 
 


   
SB 16 - 17 * 14,5 * 11 mm
 

 


 

 


   
SB 17 -  16 * 14 * 10 mm
 



 
 


   
SB 18 - 19 * 15 * 10 mm
 



 

 


   
SB 19  - 18 * 15,5 * 10 mm
 



 
 


   
SB 20 -  15 * 15 * 10 mm
 



 
 


 
SB 21 - 14 * 13 * 11,5 mm
This scorpion seal bead is made in the Indian translucent moonstone.
I have added light to make the translucent shine come more out.
 



Palm leaf Seals

 
 


   
SB 22 - 19 * 15 * 14 mm
 
 



 
 


   
SB 23  - 20 * 17 * 15 mm
 



 
 


   
SB 24  -  13,5 * 12 * 10,5 mm
 



Various motives

 
 


   
SB 25   -  14,5 * 12,5 * 11 mm
Whirling star motive
 



 
 


   
SB 26 - 15 * 13,5 * 10,5 mm
Whirling star motive
 



 
 


   
SB 27 -  11 * 10 * 7 mm
This is a very rare seal bead depicting a horse
 



 
 


   
SB 28  - 16 * 14 * 11 mm
Again a rare seal with the Blessing Hand. The Blessing Hand is known back to the
Indus Valley culture, later in Buddhism and in the Sassanian culture.
Later, when Islam became predominant in Persia, the Blessing Hand
survived in the form of
Fatimas Hand

 



 
 


   
SB 29 - 11,5 * 10 * 8,5 mm - Bird
 



 
 


   
SB 30  -  18 * 15 * 12 mm  -  Bird

 



 
 


   
SB 31 - 14,5 * 13 * 9 mm
Animal

 



 
 


   
SB 32 - 18 * 15 * 11 mm
Animal

 



 
 


   
SB 34 -  18 * 14,5 * 10 mm
Animal
 



 
 

 
   
SB 33  - 13 * 10 * 8 mm
Flower vase

 



 
 


   
SB 35 - 15 * 14,5 * 13 mm
Unknown motive
 



 

 


   
SB 36 - 15 * 13 * 12 mm
Lord Gayomard - the first human
 



 
 


   
SB 37 - 21,5 * 19 * 15,5 mm
A large seal bead with no motive, but with beautiful decorations.

 



Persian script
 
 


   
SB 38  -  21 * 11,5 * 8,5 mm
Seal with ancient persian scripture
 




INDIAN SEALS

Mother Goddess Seal Bead
 
 


   
SB 39 -  30 * 20 * 20 mm
 



Terra cotta Indus Valley Bull Seals
 

 



SB 40  -  18 * 18 mm
Indus Valley culture bull seals - before 1000 BC
Click on photos for larger picture
 

   





Chinese jade seal bead - Warring States period - 475 B.C.



 

   
   

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Contact: Gunnar Muhlman - Gunnars@mail.com