I’ve blogged about my work-place palace before, but I needed to update because I have a wonderful new addition and a restoration to show off. My oldest, dearest friend, Lars (that’s a nickname), gave me these fabulous Assyrian shedu (human-headed winged bull) and lamassu (human-headed winged lion) bookends from the Metropolitan Museum for Christmas.
Aren’t they the coolest? I’ve coveted them for ages, but could never quite justify the expense. They stand sentinel on top of one of my filing cabinets just to the left of my office door so that everyone who comes in will see them. The bookends complement the historical decor perfectly. The picture leaning against the wall is Ashurbanipal hunting lions; the poster is from an Assyriological conference we attended in Germany; peaking out of the corner is a model trebuchet, and in the foreground there’s a mug with Vivien Leigh as Cleopatra; a sculpture my eldest son made in sixth grade, my philodendron; and a photo of my youngest. Eclectic? Yes, but all things I love. Here’s another view:
Just to give you an idea of the size of the originals, here’s a pic that my son took at the Louvre when he was there in December.
If these wouldn’t give an intruder pause, I don’t know what would, but they’re a little outsize for anything less than an imperial palace.
Back on a human scale, in other office news, I pieced together my broken relief and returned it to its rightful place. It’s smaller than before — I left the horse off because it was in too many tiny pieces — but it still looks great by my desk.
And it draws the eye to my row of special edition mini-figs on the bookshelf above.
From left to right: the cyclops; an Amazon warrior(ess); Ramses II (aka Yul Brynner) and a Greek hoplite.
Further along we have a Spanish conquistador, George Washington, a Huron warrior (we call him Magua), a Scottish piper, and a Scots Guard. I’ve left out the middle of the row, but you get the idea. My little Lego warriors both compliment and contrast the serious subject matter of the books (war). Naturally, the figs are arranged in chronological order.
My office is full of treasures that make me enjoy spending time there. Have you added anything new to your workspace?
*Paraphrased from a dedicatory inscription that Sennacherib had written for his wife. Here’s the original:
“And for Tashmetum-sharrat, the consort, my beloved wife, whose appearance the goddess Belet-ili has made perfect above all women, I had a palace of loveliness, celebration, and joy built and I set sphinxes of white limestone in its doorways. At the command of Assur, father of the gods, of Ishtar, the queen, may she be endowed with days of good health and a happy heart inside both these palaces, and may she have her fill of pleasure, and may the benevolent Alad and the benevolent Lamma deities linger beside these palaces forever and never leave them.”
I’ve always liked this inscription. It’s both sweet and kind of sad.