06 December 2007

What $57,200,000 Will Buy

I am a big fan of history, specifically three periods: 20th century America between the wars (roughly 1918 - 1946), ancient Greece and Rome at the time of the origins of modern thought (roughly the 7th century BC), and the time when civilization began to coalesce (Mesopotamia, about 5000 years ago).

Mesopotamia, called the cradle of civilization for good reason, saw the origin of the most basic human inventions -- among them: writing, the wheel, glass, the arch, and the concept of "zero." But it is here, too, where arts and culture flourished.

One product of this great moment in time was recently sold at auction for the record-trouncing price of $57,200,000. The last known such piece in private hands, the Guennol Lioness (pictured) was carved from limestone by an unknown artist for an unknown reason. Only three inches in height, it makes a powerful statement of its time and place in history.

You can read more about the history of the piece here and more about the auction here.

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