This 24k gold-overlay collectible you have just acquired is a near-exact reproduction of the Winged Lioness, or griffin, which often symbolized kings and queens of the Persian Empire. Such bold mythical figures were carved into the walls of grand palaces after epic battles and conquests. This particular icon was a historical figure used by monarchs to commemorate Persia’s bloodless victory over Babylon.
The original art dates back to Achaemenid King Artaxerxes II, and a rare rendition of it is kept at the Oriental Institute’s museum in Chicago.
The composite creature, featuring lifelike qualities, personifies the mightiness, diligence and skill of the female lion, and the speed and tenacious leadership of the eagle. In year 2000, a golden object bearing the same symbol and Persian inscriptions was discovered in Meshkheti, in the Republic of Georgia.
Today, as Iranians strive for freedom and justice in their land, masterpieces such as the Winged Lioness connect them to their ancestors who founded the vast and fair-minded Achaemenid Empire. This icon is especially inspiring to the beleaguered women of Islamic Iran.