AUD $960.00

Elamite, Stone Spindle Whorls.

A collection of Ancient Elamite Stone Spindle Whorls have here been loosely strung together allowing wear or display by hanging. (I'd personally seperate them as the two largest appear to have recent small chips around their rims, due to handling, where they face each other in the centre.) Their origins are the early civilisation of Elam, a contemporary of the Indus Valley and Mesopotamian Civilizations, famous for its worked stone utensils.

Made from a pale cream alabaster with a finely pitted surface, these are the stone weights (whorls) fitted to the base of the stick (spindle) used to spin fibre, usually wool. They have become highly collectable, usually made of clay then fired, these stone ones represent a different level of skill. (And I'd assume a more sophisticated City rather than Nomad lifestyle.)

They are rather heavy for wear, too, considering there are 37 individual pieces ranging in size from D 23 mm x H 13 mm to D 30mm x H 12 mm and two large central ones at D 48 mm x H 18 mm. (These two largest are damaged, apart from the above mentioned small chips, much older damage where one has lost about 20%, the other 10%, however the fact they are unique being quite different and each is hollowed out like an umbrella or mushroom balances it out for me.)

Most are in very good and pretty good condition, though one smaller one has lost about 40% of its whole but the rest are pretty o.k.

There are many variations in the shape and details of the turning, some having one or two bands of grooving. These were done during their manufacture on the most primitive of lathes. (We also have some stone jars, bowls and tumblers turned from the same and other stones, from this same culture that reveal a surprisingly fine skill and design sense.)

For the collector, here are a range of styles, which when carefully sorted and graded will reveal more than eight seperate variations.

Age: Circa 2,000 BC.

Size: L 52 cm, whorls not including the excess string, which adds another 20 cm.

Weight: 622 grams..