Bronze equine bit with cheek plaques

Near Eastern, Iranian, Luristan
Iron Age
7th–4th century B.C.


Width: 22.3 cm (8 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This bronze equine bit has two flanking square shaped cheek-plaques. Roughly square, ribbed borders enclose a scene depicting a horned human figure with horned headdress and hair curled at sides, shown frontally, between two rampant lions, which shown in profile. Two conventionalized birds appear below. Two central links for a bit with large loops at each plaque end for attachment to bridle. A green patina appears over most surfaces.


By 1930, acquired in Iran, probably by Ayoub Rabenou, Paris; 1930, sold by Rabenou, through Arthur Upham Pope (b. 1881 - d. 1969), Paris, to the MFA [see note]. (Accession Date: August 7, 1930)

NOTE: MFA accession nos. 30.544-30.637 were purchased from Arthur Upham Pope for $15,000, plus a $2250 commission. According to Pope, the majority of the group belonged to Rabenou.

Credit Line

Maria Antoinette Evans Fund