Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Principal Styles of the Bactrian Seals per S Winkelmann

In her close study of the seals and amulets of ancient Bactria in the great Ligabue collection, the results of which she published in her Seals of the Oasis, Syliva Winkelmann carefully classifies the Bactrian glyptic styles.  She also provides a proposed sequence and duration of Bactrian stamp seal styles.

Her categories are named and described as

Rough or Drilled Style: Simple motifs of unsmoothed borings, found mostly in Bactria, precursors found in Central Asia and the Indo-Iranian borderlands.

My proposed example of this style in my personal collection:

Stone Amulet from Bactria, Authenticated and Published by V Sarianidi 
Contact me with questions or for invoice through the private message form at the top right of this page.


Murghab Style: Canonized and stylized motifs with internal pattern made from flat cut lines and shallow and well-smoothed borings, found in both Bactria and Margiana (Murghab), made by indigenous crafters influenced by Iranian art.

My proposed example of this style in my personal collection:

Ancient Bactrian Carved Gypsum Seal Authenticated and Published

Contact me with questions or for invoice through the private message form at the top right of this page.

Evolved Bactrian Style: Three dimensional and vigorous rendering in perspective drawings, Bactria findings, indigenous makers.

My proposed example of this style in my personal collection:

Bactrian Amulet, ca Four Thousand Yrs Old, Authenticated, Published
Contact me with questions or for invoice through the private message form at the top right of this page.



Bactrian Smooth Style: Shallow cut motifs from well smoothed borings in softly formed outlines of nearly bag shaped bodies without internal markings, very thin cut legs, horns and tails.

My proposed example of this style in my personal collection:

Bactrian Stamp Seal White Stone Bird Image, Authentic, Published by Archeologist
Contact me with questions or for invoice through the private message form at the top right of this page.

As for the beginning and end of the crafting of the various styles, this is the Winkelmann proposal:

Compartmented metal stamp seals: 2400 B.C. to 1700 B.C.
Drilled Style: 2500 B.C. to 1600 B.C.
Soft Murghab Style (Bactrian): 2300 B.C. to 1700 B.C.
Evolved Bactrian Style: 2000 B.C. to 1700 B.C.
Smooth Style: 2100 B.C. to 1600 B.C.

An addition to the time sequence of the styles, not described in the categories above:
Linear Murghab Style: 2100 B.C. to 1700 B.C.


Reference:
Seals of the Oasis, pp. 36, 37, Sylvia Winkelmann available at Amazon for about $12.00
The Ron Garner Collection.  I have a larger collection of items not posted at my website.  If you are interested, please leave a comment below by clicking on the COMMENTS tab and I will receive your message and respond promptly.

5 comments:

  1. Please leave your comments and inquiries here.

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  2. Interesting, Anna! Every style has something to commend it, but I particularly like the Murghab and Evolved styles. The Smooth style is really nice too. Actually, I like them all. lol. It's helpful to see these representations together in a single blog post. I've seen many of your seals, but never had an organized mental sense about them. Now I do. Very useful! Thanks for sharing this knowledge, Anna!

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    Replies
    1. You are very welcome, Mary. I had not seen them as being in categories, either, until I read Winkelmann, whose book was referred to me by one of my collector/buyers. I had used the abstract vs. natural and metal vs stone classifications that Victor had used in his catalog. The finer slices into different styles and time periods by Winkelmann was new and important information for me. Thanks for the visit and comment. Will begin the blog series on proposed migration routes for the Bactrians tomorrow. Hope to get it published within a couple of days.

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    2. Finished most of the research today. Tomorrow I will BEGIN the writing ;) Thanks for the comment and encouragement.

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